N O R T H O A K

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Summary

Taylor wrote something I feel you should read. We found this on our computer shortly after Forrest wrote ANTONYM. We all decided to sit back this year while Taylor took on her first winter with out us. I hope she knows we are proud of her for being so strong and not holding back to tell you her story. Such a sweetheart ill have you know, but what a curious soul she has. There are some things better left unsaid, there are places that should be left alone. People you you never should have met, trails you that should not be traveled. I wish for you to read what Taylor wrote here, before you read ANTONYM. You must hear her first. I hope this finds you well Best of wishes from Forrest and the others -ASHTON 01/23/1992

Genre:
Horror / Thriller
Author:
WNDGO
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

NORTHOAK

Tuesday, December 15th, 1991

We made our way out of the school parking lot, then turned onto the main two lane road that traveled through the town. The snow was heavy, the fog was thicker than it had been all month. My brother had an old jeep that him and his girlfriend bought for nine hundred dollars from his old woodshop teacher. We took Jericho to and from school, the drive was about twenty miles down the mountain.
My brother’s name is Jake. He is tall and thin, has dark hair and green eyes. We only really had each other growing up, that was until he got a girlfriend, her name is Kendall. She stays at our house a lot because her parents are extremely toxic, she feels safer here. She pays rent voluntarily and brings in a great attitude to the family. Forrest is Jakes best friend, he always came over to hang out with Jake when we were kids, he’s had it rougher than most of us growing up around here but he has come a long way. Forrest is fun to be around, he has a great sense of humor. He likes to break into abandoned places like old hospitals and explore them at night, sometimes he will bring us with him. I had a crush on him up until he got a girlfriend, her name is Ashton. She is new to our little family but everyone fell in love with her right away. She’s quiet and intelligent just like Forrest, she’s very pretty, with black hair and blue eyes, she has a tiny bit of freckles that surrounded her button nose. She had a soft voice but when she spoke, she was very direct and made piercing eye contact, she was a little intimidating given where she came from. Ashton and I did not exactly get along in the beginning, I’m sure she picked up hints about my liking for Forrest. I can see where the animosity steams from. Not only are they in obviously in love, but Forrest is kind of all she has. I remember the day he brought her home. We had not seen him in an awfully long time, he returned to his house with Ashton in extremely poor shape. She had nothing but Forrest. He got her clothes, fed her regularly, and got her into school so she wouldn’t have to stay home all day until Forrest got back, it wasn’t long before they became what they are now.
Edd is the third guy in our little family. Edd is crazy smart and I love his company. He is handsome and funny with a lovely aesthetic, one that I feel comfortable in. Edd and I are probably the closest out of everyone, to give you an idea, I have a photo of him in my locker. He was a couple inches shorter than Jake, about Forrest’s height. He has dark hair and a nice smile. We both seem to gravitate towards the same things, we talk about urban legends, spirits, daemonology, murder mysteries, whatever it may be we seem to be on the same page with it. He knows tons about them and tells great stories. I think he knows I had a thing for Ty but if Edd were to, go for it. Let’s say I wouldn’t turn away. He might feel weird that I’m Jakes little sister but it’s a one-year age gap and I doubt Jake cares.
My name is Taylor, Jakes little sister. I have black hair and bright eyes just like my brother, I am also thin just like Jake, but only as tall as Ashton. I have a button nose that the rest of the group gives me shit for. I like old music, I have a collection of records in my room, I love to write and paint when I have nothing to do. I am a huge Halloween person; I am pretty much hyper the entire month of October. I’m a horror fan and I hate tomatoes. I have had the same friends for a long time now, some of us went to camp at the at Northridge Youth Camp Association or the NYCA. When we grew older, some of us became old enough to hold jobs in town while the others became councilors with pay. I worked the most out of us, I tried to work all seasons, but now that we are older, Jake, Kendall, Forrest, Ashton and Edd only worked some of the summer camps and would occasionally work the winter ones. I could not help but to feel excited we were finally on winter break. This was my favorite part of the year; I am always the happiest in the winter. We had done the same thing for the past few years now, we hung out, drank, and found whatever fun we could the days leading up to the camping trip. We have heavy winters here in Northridge, and the forest that surrounds the town, traps in a very dense fog that creates an eerie vibe, the fog almost never disappears.
we drove down the road until we eventually reached our turn, we rounded the gas station on the corner then continued down the long street, leading to our little community. The locals called it elk creek. We were one of a 7 old communities off of Hollow Grove. Ours had about seven streets with houses that were all fairly old. We made our way down our street, and eventually into our driveway. We lived with my mother, who has been a single parent since we were little kids. She worked for a large tech company located about an hour away from Northridge. She goes on a trip every December to visit her family and she does not come back until Christmas. We had the house to ourselves.
I went upstairs to my room and laid on my bed until I had enough motivation to shower. The sky grew darker as the clouds showed signs of a storm ahead. I got undressed, grabbed a towel from the closet and proceeded into the bathroom. I began to run the water after I placed my towel on the sink counter. As I waited for the water to get hot, I stared at myself in the mirror for a little bit. I walked over to the window, and watched the fog cover the street. The glow from the street lanterns shined yellow, the sky was dark. I looked over my shoulder to see if there was steam coming off the water. A flash of light illuminated the bathroom. I turned back to look out the window.
“here comes the storm” I said to myself eagerly waiting for the thunder to follow. I was pretty bummed when it didn’t sound, it was probably to far away to hear over the running water.
I dried off and got ready. I grabbed my coat and made my way downstairs.
“You ready?” jake asked turning off the television.
“yeah I’m ready” I responded as Kendall and Jake both got up from the couch.
we all made our way over to Edds house. His dad wasn’t home for the winter either, he had a job that he had to leave town constantly. Edd would be left home for days, sometimes weeks ,he usually throws little parties when his dads gone. Although Edd, Jake and the group weren’t going this winter, they still let me invite some councilors over to let loose before the season started. We were all in the living rooms talking about the upcoming winter season and how fun camp Virtik will be. Camp Virtik is a 10 day overnight trip up in the forest around a lake that froze over in the winter. There are around 25 cabins where the kids sleep, we go on little adventures throughout the day. We hike and skate on the ice, we do a lot of sledding and on somedays we grab skis and let the kids go down the hill next to camp. At nighttime we usually find a spot in the trees and build a fire and tell scary stories for hours or until 10 PM when the kids go to bed. It was a tradition that we held. The camp is about 5 miles northeast of Northridge. Connected by one road and the very dense forest. The thing about camp Virtik is that at night we are highly advised to stay out of the woods and to stay in our cabins. Since I was a camper, the councilors had instructed us in the same manner due to some occurrences over the years. In the late 70s a child named Tomas and a girl named Becca, age 13 and 9, went missing while at camp with NYCA. Authorities never found their bodies. The case shut down the camp site for 3 years until 1984 when it was reported to have opened back up to NYCA to let kids stay overnight again. In 1987 a family was camping half a mile away from camp Virtik in late fall before the winter season. Camp Virtik was empty but a father and his two kids Niomi age 11 and Walker age 9 pitched a tent after a day of hiking at the tree line of the vacant camp. The father woke up to both kids missing. After a day of searching on his own, the man lost hope and hung himself with rope in his backpack. The last story is about a NYCA councilor in 1991 that was in a fight with her boyfriend which was another councilor at NYCA. She ran into the woods in a fit of rage and simply never came back. She was 17 when she went missing and they never found her body, her name was Nichole l. Camp Virtik is a mile away from a small town called Northoak. A small community of about 70 people. The town has a small grocery outlet where we get most of our food and supplies before we head to the campsite. Northoak has the highest missing reported cases in the county and the people that live here in Northoak blame it on the Forrest. Its kind of a Tall Tale or Urban Legend there in Northoak. Jake, Ty, Kendal, Ashton and Edd are all into the paranormal. Jake calls it research and gets mad when I say ghost hunting, he says he’s not hunting ghost he’s more or less asking questions and “experimenting”. Whatever he calls it, its pretty crazy. I’ve gone with them a few times and they do some sketchy shit. We broke into an abandoned hospital with all this equipment. Edd had something called a spirit box that scans through radio stations and emits white noise. Apparently, spirits can talk through white noise. Anyway, something came through that night and said my name loud and clear. I have not gone out with them since. Jake says that there are Spirits and then there are daemons, and when someone says your name like that its either a relative or friend that knows you or it’s a daemon.
Edd got up and walked to the bathroom as the conversation continued about having enough ski gear for the children this season. After some time, Edd came back and walked over his previous spot onto an abandoned cushion next to me. If I’m being honest, I blushed. He had me curious if he even had to go to the bathroom in the first place, I didn’t hear a flush. He looked over and smiled.
“Hey you!” Edd said as he raised his glass to his mouth
“hey Mr. Edd” I responded with a small grin
" Wanna know something crazy?” he asked after taking a sip.
“of course I do” I responded
" I think my house is haunted... Hear me out! Listen, at 3:33Am every night I wake up to a woman singing. Once I get up, I follow the sound, but it stops once I enter the Livingroom” he said looking at his drink beginning to laugh
“that’s not good Edd” I responded laughing with him
“I know, I don’t know what to do about her, if she was singing something good, I wouldn’t mind as much” he responded
“you better figure that out!” I stated taking a drink
“You ready to take on Camp Virtik without us this season?” he asked. “I hope so, it’s my first one without you guys ever!”
“You have my number, right?” he asked with I hint of angst.
“Of course I have your number Edd.” I said with a smile as my mouth tries to find the straw to my almost empty drink.
“Good.” he said with a smile. “I want you to call me from time to time if you don’t mind. Those woods are sketchy at night,” He said with a small grin and piercing eye contact.
“and remember, if you see a light in the trees, turn back and walk away” I began to laugh a little out of confusion, “Are you talking about .... Yan?”
“Yes, Yan” He repeated back. I knew stories about him but I never heard Edd’s story.
Edd began, “Yan is a man that used to live out in the mountains next to Northoak. See Northoak used to be an old sort of mining town in 1890s. Yan was a part of this community for a long time and even loved by most, he was a tall, slim man in his 50s with a long black beard that came to a point, He was clean, suspenders, combover, overall very dapper gentleman. No one really knew of a family to Yan, all they really knew is he lived alone. He began to grow a liking to moonshine and found he could make money in selling it to the local salon under table, as well as the patrons. He had a spot in the deep in the forest about a mile or two west from town. He spent more and more time out there till he eventually started camping next to his distillery. He came into town less and less groomed till over time he stopped really caring about image and started getting a little sloppy and aggressive with sales. That’s when he got ratted out and spent some time in the sheriff’s cell. He was let out if he agreed not to make or sell shine to the patrons of the town. If he disobeyed, he would be banned or hung, in the 1900s Yan built a cabin in the woods to seclude himself from others. He wanted to not just live alone, but be alone and never really wanted anymore interaction with the public. He took his horse and all he could gather up and lived in that shack cabin for many years. Yan isolated himself for so long that when he came into town to retrieve basic supplies, he earned the reputation of being the crazy drunk in town. Over time he began doing very abnormal things. One of the more well-known facts about Yan after he isolated himself in that forest, is that he would always be holding a lantern. He never put the thing down. It was lit even in the day. At times he wouldn’t really make sense, he would mumble and slur his words, many claimed to not even recognize the language, but the ones that knew about the land recognized it was from long ago although no one has used that language in ages. Somehow, he managed to acquire a banjo, he learned to pluck the strings with one hand. He began to pluck the strings in certain spots to make a different tone, it was quite inventive, since he refused to put the lantern down. Some things he’d do on his rides into town were funny, but some were downright disturbing. One occasion Yan rode into town with a dead dear dragged behind the horse with ropes. By the time he reached town, the carcass was mangled. After a few more gruesome incidents. He was ordered not to come back into town due to his violent and unpredictable behavior. Some say he was just a crazy drunk but the natives of the land all say the devil got him, or he lost his soul. He went back to his shack and no one really heard from Yan. Over the years people would encounter Yan, mostly at night. They say he wouldn’t ever really speak but always seemed to have a humble personality trait to him when he was out there, it was like the Yan they knew before the moonshine. At night if you were passing by his part of the trail you would see the glow from his lantern passing through the trees. Yan would still be roaming around the forest even at night. He didn’t bother anyone, he just seemed better off now he was exiled. Overtime there came a point no one had seen Yan in 6 months, but one night the Patrons woke up to dozens of different animals heads mounted on spikes all over the town. A couple weeks after that the first murder happened in the middle of the night in a cottage in town. The trend continued, one murder a week for 7 weeks. Then people started to missing.”
“Missing?” I probably sounded confused
“Well, missing for like 24 hours.”
“What?”
“The following morning the body would be found mangled or gutted and hung in one of the trees in town. The population grew since 1910 from 70 to about 115, but after it was all over, there were as little as 55 patrons left. As sometime passed the murders had stopped, still, no one saw Yan, only an abandoned shack left to rot. A couple generations later, the story of Yan began to die out until people started going missing in the woods by Yan’s shack. In 1930s, pieces of a man were found scattered throughout the woods in a .5 mile radius. There were 17 pieces total, 3 months later the body of a young woman was found in an unrecognizable condition. Yan’s shack was searched on multiple occasions even with authority’s knowing Yan would be far too old to pull off something like that, let alone be alive. To no one’s surprise, Yan was not found for questioning at any time the authorities had tried to locate him. Over the years Men, Women, and children would disappear in that forest. Some were found in the most gruesome manner while others were not found at all. Still locals blamed these missing/murder cases on Yan and made it a known unspoken rule not to go in the woods of Northoak. Now parents and Elders use the story to scare kids into staying in when the sun goes down.
“So, what happened to Yan?” I asked
“Well, basically no one found Yan. At this point he is too old to be alive. His shack is still there though and there are countless reports of people seeing a glow from the trees near it. People that are brave enough to wonder into the forest at night say it’s not a normal feeling and that things slowly start to not make sense. I guess after a few hours you have to leave due to nausea.”
“That’s insane Edd”, I said trying to gather all the info he just threw at me.
" Things aren’t always bad with Yan though.” Edd stated
“What do you mean?” I asked
“There’s been many reports of hikers or brave night adventures getting lost in the same woods. In all the cases I read, a glow would appear ahead of the person about 30 feet away. If you followed the glow long enough you would be taken out to a road or a trail head.”
“Seems lucky considering what happened to Northoak.” I stated
“Exactly.” he responded, “There’s a lot more to Yan than you think Taylor.” he said with a little concern.
“You got me intrigued Edd.” I genuinely want to know more of Yan, I had no idea there was so much history with this guy. To be honest its creeping me out that he is known to be less than ¼ mile from Camp Virtik.
“I have something I want to run by you but let’s wait till tomorrow night. Your friends are here and this will take a bit.” Edd replied.
“Sounds good Mr. Edd, when and where?” I’m so bad at this.
“We are going to meet Blanca after we go back to Willow Creek Asylum, so how about 1 tomorrow night. You leave Monday morning and its Friday, so you’ll still have a day to pack.”
“You’re going back?” I asked “Didn’t you just go yesterday?”
“Yeah, but we want to go back in the day, and see everything in the light.”
“Okay so, tomorrow at 1?” I asked with a smile.
“Where are we meeting Mr. Edd?”
“The DEN.” he said holding his glass to his lips hiding his obvious smile.
“See you at 1.” I replied
Edd lowered his glass and with a smile got up and sat back down next to Kendall and Ashton
I looked around the room and see at least a dozen councilors now but something didn’t feel right. I looked over to the kitchen and see Lucas, by himself looking at everyone in the living room. I’ve known Lucas for like 8 years, he’s also a councilor with us at NYCA. He was cool when we were kids, but about 3 years ago, he showed up to fall camp completely different. He isn’t really the guy I knew growing up. A lot of people suspected drugs, others thought it was parents abuse or something horrid he’s suffering from now, but he’s got this look, of something deep and cryptic. I don’t know, I sound crazy but Lucas had a vibe I cannot explain. It’s kind of sad because now he is someone who hangs in the background and is invited to some of our parties mostly out of pity. I felt somewhat obligated to approach him and say something seeing him all alone. I got up and I walked through the kitchen, over to the counter and began pouring another drink.
“Hello there, Lucas.” I said, as I turn around.
“Excited for Camp Virtik?” he asked as I stirred the sailor jerry.
“Yes, of course. Aren’t you?” I replied. Lucas was awkward and always tried to turn things interesting in a completely normal conversation.
“Yeah, totally. I might even go into the woods this time, after all the kids go to bed. I want to go search for Bigfoot.” He said with a try hard grin. I thought it was strange that he brought up bigfoot because only my brother and his friends knew about my love for bigfoot.
“What are you going to do when you find him?”
“Kill him of course.” he said with the most false sense of confidence I’ve ever seen
I turned back from the counter and began walking towards the living room where I originally was sitting.
“You’re such a badass Lucas.” I said passing in front of him. I sat back down and continued to talk logistics on the Virtik trip with the rest of the councilors. I couldn’t really stop thinking about the story Edd was telling me about Yan. After a few moments go by, I happened to look back to the kitchen where Lucas was, and he was gone.
When we arrived home later that night, I took off my makeup and got ready for bed. I had a dream that night I feel is necessary to tell you. In this dream it was night, I was walking in the woods by myself. I was sad for some reason. I saw a glow from a distance that was getting closer. The glow was off trail, but it was approaching me from the trees. The glow gradually came so close, my vision was all white when suddenly, I woke up to a flash. Kind of like lightning. This is not the first time I woke up to what I thought was lightning or headlights from a car. But this time felt so strange because of the way the had dream ended. It’s Saturday and the camp leaves on Monday, so I began sorting out my things and getting everything ready for the trip. I glanced out my window and noticed something hanging from the tree. It looked like a floating racoon hanging in our front yard. I woke up Jake in a panic and told him what I saw. He laughed as he put on his boots to call what he thought was a bluff. He stepped outside and saw a racoon meet him at eyelevel, sort of swaying a little bit back and forth. He quickly ran back inside to grab a trash bag and a knife, cut it down and put the body in the bag. Jake came back in after burying the racoon in the back. He walked back into my room, where now Kendall and I were talking and said, “Some sick fuck hung a racoon with fishing wire.” I got chills up my spine and began to feel sick. Kendall looked terrified that someone would do that, let alone at our house in the middle of the night.
I pretty much read for the remainder of the day while Jake and Kendal left to go to Willow Creek. I hate to admit it, but I have that feeling in my stomach, the one before a date or a recital, and it was probably because we were going to the den alone for the first time. The DEN is a spot next to our houses where the trees create a little path between the houses. About 200 feet in, is a hollowed out little fort we all made when we were kids. Now, we build fires in it at night and hang out. It’s kind of a community chill spot where any of us in our friend group can go there at any time, you just have to clean up after yourself and put the fire out. We call it either the den or the hut. I go to the hut alone sometimes to write or to have my alone time, sometimes I run into another one of us doing the same thing. I found Ashton down here at 2 AM one night. She was writing when I showed up. We talked about our issues and we told stories till the sun came up. We come here quite often and its not uncommon two of us will meet unannounced to the other and just talk.
It was 12:45 as started out the door, I walked down the block through the dense fog and light snow still grounded from the night before. The dim glow from the streetlights hovered over the sidewalk, I lit a cigarette as I continued through the break in the houses and onto the trail between the trees. I found Edd at the end of the trail around a fire he had already built. He was sitting on a log with a black book in his hand. He brought a thermal with hot chocolate, and a flask.
“Hey you” he said as I entered the DEN
“Hi stranger” I replied walking over the branches finding my spot next to edd by the fire
“whats in the flask?” I asked
“Sailor Jerry” he responded handing it over with a grin
I smiled as I took a swig
“So how was seeing Blanca, you have to tell me” I asked
“Okay but its between you and me okay”? Edd replied. “I don’t want any one knowing really whats going on with her”
“safe with me, promise” I replied as I gave the flask back to Edd.
He took a hug sip and handed me the thermal.
" After Willow Creek we went to her home in Northridge, her house is pretty secluded. It looked like a run down old wood cabin, she used candles for everything and had one TV that had a couple channels. Out side, the surrounding trees had symbols carved into them, there were stacked rocks randomly but surrounded the cabin. We gathered in her living room and she explained that she was a women of the forest. She said the trees talk to her and she can feel the earth. She told us that the carvings were ancient symbols used for protection but the rocks surrounding her home were not her doing, but in fact has been there since she has lived in the home. We began asking her about Willow Creek and what is going on with Forrest and Ashton. What we thought was paranormal might be something way greater than that Taylor”
“what do you mean, whats going on with Forrest and Asthon.”
Blanca believes they are being followed, but by something dark and connected to the forest. Taylor that Northridge forest, the one surrounding everything, has a history that goes way past the settlers in Northoak. Before the settlers were the natives called the Kilpoko that lived off the land in the woods, the had a pretty big community and was also pretty well organized. Once the natives settled here, things began to go south just like Northoak. Kilpoko believed in pleasing the gods, I don’t know much history about natives but Blanca said animal sacrifices, rituals, dancing, and many other practices were common. There was a medicine man that would spend days talking to the goods and reading the energy of the land. He was thought to be a communicator with the gods and would relay messages between the Kilpoko and the gods. Things were good for a little bit until one hunter left late at night chasing what he heard to be a large kill. The next morning, he was found hanging from the trees disemboweled with a symbol carved into his back. This wasn’t the last, night after night at random people would go missing and found later in the woods or not found at all. The Kilpoko assumed it was coming from within the tribe after they had ruled out animal predators. One night after a sheep sacrifice, another man went missing, the next morning a women walked in to the tribe weeks after disappearing, she was completely quiet, she pointed towards one of the trails, Kilpoko came back with the remains of a man, just a torso and arm hung from the trees. When examined, human teeth marks were found covering the corpse. When they found the women, they pinned her down and opened her mouth to find flesh and tendons stuck in her teeth. They sacrificed her the following night. That’s when things got out of hand. After a Human sacrifice whether it was an execution or an offering, basically greenlighted the Kilpoko for anything that was in the forest. One by one natives would go mad, some after they returned from the woods, some overnight, some in the middle of a ritual. Men, women, and children, didn’t matter would one by one lose their shit. Some running through the trees at night, some lost to suicide, some began to do new rituals following voodoo or Blackmagic, unprovoked at random, while some even resulted to cannibalism. These were all different problems to the Kilpoko. No one knew how to handle this situation. The medicine man became distraught and relayed that the gods had abandoned them. There was something else he was communicating with now. The Kilpoko tried every ritual out of desperation but matters only got worse and worse. People were dying, dying in different ways too. What ever evil was in the trees was getting creative, and also getting more and more gruesome. This lasted until there were about 30-40 natives left including the medicine man and chief. On a full moon, a women was woken up by dragging footsteps outside her hut. He began chanting and dancing, he began to chant in a language unknown to the rest. The most natives were woken by this and watched outside their huts. After the clouds grew darker and the chants grew louder, there was a great silence. A silence without any ambientes. Completely quiet, the chief turned at his tribe and sacrificed himself in front of everyone. The madness came to a stop and the Kilpoko moved their tribe to a different part of the woods. They ended up getting over ran by the new settlers that claimed the land. Because of the size of the Kilpoko, they surrendered right away. The settlers easily could have wiped out the natives but instead some how intwined the two groups,. Without a chief and with out direction. This was better than death and the natives looked at the new people as a form of protection. The men hunted with the settlers and grew close while the women and children teamed with the women settlers to grow crop and other things Over time the settlers learned the horrors of the forest. It was well known for the people not to fuck with that forest. The town they created is what we know as Northoak.
“No fuckin way” I sat with my jaw open
“right? I have more.
“tell me” I replied grabbing the flask for another swig.
“The Kilpoko, that medicine man is Blanca’s ancestor” he stated as he opened up the black book
I sat in silence for a moment, trying not to shit my pants.
“is this real, are you fucking with me Edd”
“not at all” he replied, “in fact I wish I was”
“I have a question” I stated
“go for it”
" you said evil, you said whatever evil was in the forest has a green light, what did you mean” I asked
" they did all those rituals without really knowing an outcome. People went from being murdered to being eaten. The symbols on the bodys found along with the way they were displayed goes back far before the Kilpoko, before all of it.”
“that means that the Northridge wasn’t this way because of the natives, the natives just...”
“woke it up” edd added.
Edd then tuned to a page in the book and showed me a symbol drawn in the center of the page surrounded by letters I didn’t recognize.
“this was the symbol on the bodies, this is the symbol found on a few of the trees surrounding Northoak”
“what is it” I asked
“its just my opinion but I think its demonic, like biblical” he added
" I’m confused” as I took the book from him staring at the symbol.
“that forest was full of shit, the amount of stories I hear have all the same beginning and same end but the things they see in the woods can very from creatures, to ghouls, to skin walkers, wendigo, witches, the list goes on, but the most common are those stories involving demonic activity, which is why I brough this book.”
I took another swig of jerry and gave him back the flask.
he took the book and turned a few pages as he placed the book back in my hands.
“this book is Blancas, she draws and writes about the things she sees and communicates with in the forest, he then pointed at a drawing with an English description underneath it that stated.
Yan Gant Y Tan
under it she wrote, “wanderer of the night, candles for fingers on right hand, not supposed to be in these trees, belongs in Finistère, cant approach it as the glow grows further when pursuing”
“wait, a glow” I said looking confused
“keep reading” he replied
" when close enough, sometime there is a creature with candles and fur, dark eyes and long limbs, other times I see a man with a long beard, in a flannel holding what appears to be a lantern. When calling out him, he looks toward you and walks further away into the trees. Has never appeared to be aggressive toward me.”
I almost dropped the book, I looked up at Edd with pure distraught. It made sense but what if Blanca is just crazy, what if she’s seeing things, what if edd really is fucking with me.
I flipped through some more of the pages and saw drawings and descriptions of many creatures and symbols and spirits and stories. The last page of the book in one line near the top were the words: LASCIATE ONGI SEPERANZA VOI CH’ENTRATE
“that looks familiar, I’ve seen that before” I said
“you probably have, it translates to abandon all hope ye who enter here, this is allegedly the message encrypted over the gates to hell”
“gates? And if its in Blancas book, that means she probably seen that some where and wrote it down”
I stated as if I just solved sudoku.
“the message has been seen in a few locations around the world, found in caves, catacombs in Italy, and a few others.” He replied
“and that’s exactly what I was thinking, again we could be completely fucking off and this whole thing could just be a urban legend, and Blanca could be just completely insane.” He added taking a shot of Jerry.” But just think for a moment, what if? What if this is all true and there is an apparent gate to hell in Northridge, and the stories aren’t bull shit Taylor. What if this is all true, it would explain so much of what happens in this fucked up town” he said a little intensely
“it would make sense Edd, it would make a lot of sense” I replied
he grabbed my hand
I subconsciously intwined our fingers
" I want us to stay sceptic okay Mrs. Taylor he said with sincerity
“of course, I remember what you told me. We don’t know if its 100 percent true because we weren’t there”
“perfect” he said as he handed the flask over, went to reach but forgot we were kind of holding hands.
I probably looked red from blushing.
we laughed as he let go
there was silence and we had a little moment but the snow began to fall a little harder and the fire was running out of fuel. We both stood up and gathered our things, Edd grabbed the rain bucket to put the fire out. We walked out the trail through the trees and onto the street
“ill walk you home ,yeah Ms Taylor?” he asked lighting up a cigarette handing me the pack.
“that would be lovely Mr. Edd” I replied lighting up my own.
I handed the pack back as we walked through under the streetlights, the snow turned to a light mist as the dim light from the moon was muted by the clouds. We turned the corner and began down the next street when we heard what sounded like someone talking coming from behind us, it didn’t sound like it was directed towards anyone but its definitely outside.
" you here that” I asked looking up at Edd.
" I did” he replied pulling out Brass Knuckles from his back pack.
He stared off into the abyss of the dim light street.
" I have an idea, but you have to trust me okay?” I said looking the direction edd was.
“I’m game but don’t get us killed” he replied walking backwards with a slight grin.
“follow me” i said as I walked past Edd.
I began walking down the block, we began to here the muffled talking again. It sounded like someone was having a conversation with them self out side a downtown seven eleven. We couldn’t make it out.
I grabbed Edds hand as ran his fingers through mine, I was probably squeezing hard as we continued around the corner.
“this is leading us back to the street we came from” he stated as we turned the next corner. we were coming up to the part where we would turn to go into the hut, I looked down and my jaw dropped.
“shit, shit, shit” I repeated as edd looked down at the snow.
there were three sets of foot prints coming from the huts entrance.
Edd looked over at me as we heard a very faint voice coming from the end of the street behind us. We let go and walked a bit faster as we continued down the streets. We were only a couple blocks away but I wanted to get far enough away to where it see us go into a home. We began to run at a steady pace as Edd ran his fingers through the brass. We ran until we came up to my house and both ran through the side of the house into my back yard. I grabbed my keys and opened the back door as we both rushed in quietly.
it was pitch black and completely silent in the house, I looked up at him and whispered ” you are not going to say shit to Jake, you are not going to say a word okay?”
“what do you mean” he replied quietly.
“I’m not letting you go back out there edd” I said taking off my coat.
he nodded as we continued to tip toe upstairs, past jakes room and into my room. I locked the door and walked through the dark room and shut the blinds and curtains. I took my lampshade off and cover the bulb with a shirt so the light wouldn’t be too bright.
I didn’t want what ever that was to see a light go on from outside.
“I think we are good now” edd whispered as he quietly took off his boots and jacket.
“what the actual fuck” I said as I quickly and discreetly tried to clean what I could without him seeing my messy ass room.
Edd set his back pack down and sat on my bed
“what’s the plan” he asked looking over at me as I walked towards the closet, I knew what he was asking but I had no idea of his intentions.
“what do you mean” I replied pretending to act stupid
“well Ill sleep on the floor while you take the bed but you gotta toss me a pillow and blanket okay?” he said leaning back with a grin
Fuck.
" you don’t wanna sleep on a floor do you?” I said folding my clothes I left on my chair.
“well, of course not, no one wants to sleep on a floor” he responded
I think he knows
" here, I have an idea, you sleep with your head at my feet and vise versa” I suggested
edd got up and walked over and sat on my chair.
“Taylor, I don’t want to have sex with you tonight, I don’t want to do any of that tonight” he stated locking eyes
I turned around and dropped the shirt I was folding, I walked over to him and stood between his legs as he looked up at me. His hand ran across my stomach with the other barely on my hip, I leaned forward and kissed him. I pulled back with one hand on his check and told him ” I don’t want to have sex tonight either, as he held me between his legs. I stood up and pushed his nose with my finger. And walked back towards the laundry bin as he smiled putting the objects in his pockets into his backpack. I’m glad he didn’t say anything because most guys would fuck up a moment like that by saying some dumb “one up” remark. We eventually sat by the window and pulled back a part of the drapery to see if anything was going on. The snow had piled up so I’m sure our footprints were gone. Edd pointed with a little excitement he said
“do you see that”
“what” I replied a little scared
he pointed at a part of the street and pointed out that there were new footprints but they were scattered. Like someone had taken five to six steps. Then there was a a space without any than seven to eight more than another space than five or six the pattern continued down the street until it was out of view.
we didn’t know what to make of it cause we both have never seen anything like that before. we ended up dropping our theories and finding our way to the bed. We took our pants off and climbed in. we didn’t say anything but he held me till we fell asleep.
the next morning we were woken up by jakes door shutting and Kendal and jakes footprints going down the stairs
“we will be back in a few hours Taylor” he shouted before they exited the door.
startled I pulled back the sheets and walked over to the window, I pulled back the curtain a little to see them pull out the drive way
“wholly shit” I heard in a very sleepy voice coming from behind me.
I turn around to see edd fixed on my lower half.
I forgot I was in a shirt and a G string. I laughed as I turned back around to look out the window.
“careful getting up Mr.” I said as I looked for anything different from last night.
edd laughed as he got up covering his junk and grabbing his pants.
“look at this” I shouted
Edd walked over and pulled back the blinds. The snow stopped and the street was a blank canvas beside Jake and Kendall’s footprints getting to the car. But there was another set that was coming from the street and turned into our driveway. The footsteps continue down the driveway and appear to go behind the side of the house. I turned to grab some pants and put them on. We went out the bedroom and into the living room towards the back door. Once we got there we saw the footprints end but there was a large imprint in front of the back door as if someone laid down in front of the back door.
“that’s not cool” I said as I walked away from the glass door.
“I haven’t seen anything like that before” edd said as he walked back towards the kitchen.
we sat for about an hour and didn’t know what to make of it or last night. It was just down right strange.
we promised to not speak of edd staying over, and there really wasn’t a discussion of where we stood which is probably for the better.
he gathered his things as we walked towards the front door.
“remember to call” he said as he opened the door and continued outside.
“of course not sir” I replied with a big smile.
he walked up and kissed me
“see you when I get back I said as he walked to the drive way
“promise?” I asked
“promise” he replied smiling while lighting a cigarette. He turned and started on his way home, as I shut the door and went back up to my room. I wrote for the majority of the day, I had the house to myself so I made coffee, and ate, at 2 I had my first drink of the day. I looked up what I could about what we talked about last night, I was pretty wrapped up in it when I came across a list of daemons and their purpose. It blew my mind how many types of daemons there are. I found videos of possessions, of ghost stories and such involving the names of daemons, but I could not find anything on Northridge. That rabbit hole continued until I heard a knock on the door. I forgot I was having Piper and Jillian spend the night so we could leave early for NYCA in the morning, we went up to the room and talked as I packed my things for Camp. There was a storm that had crept up as the night went on. We had thunder and lightning along with quite a bit of rain. Piper grabbed a giant bottle of whiskey she stole from her parent’s liquor cabinet. It took only about an hour before we got drunk, we stayed up a pretty late and got a little sloppy. We were singing, dancing together and just girl stuff, when Jillian came up with the idea to fill up some flasks with the big bottle of bourbon we have in the pantry. So of course, we did, no one had to know. Plus when the kids go to bed there are times were a group of us would stay up and do stuff. We began telling stories, it didn’t take long for the topic to drift into horror stories. the lightning prominent, followed by long deep thunder. The rain went through patterns of medium to strong throughout the night. At the end of one of piper’s stories, the room was tense, a flash lit up the room at the perfect moment, causing Jillian to scream. She looked terrified, fixed on the window.
“what is it” I asked
“its late, I could just be seeing things” piper replied still looking out the window.
“what did you see” Jillian asked concerned.
“I thought I saw a dark figure in the window” she said grabbing the bottle
my heart sank into my stomach as I got up to close the window.
it could be anything at this point, I think that’s what the most uneasy part of the last few days is that there is no consistent pattern base any conclusion off of.
we continue through the night with no issues other than the persistent lightning and thunder.

The next morning we got ready and went to NYCA. We checked in all the kids and we loaded the bus and left by 9:AM we got to the camp at 10:30. The camp was beautiful, a good sized lake surrounded by Northridge’s dense forest, tons of animals and space to do whatever. The cabins where in the front with a cafeteria, first aid and other things, the cabins bordered the main gathering area where we take attendance in the morning and get into groups, somewhere spaced out for the older kids to have more of an outdoor feel while the ones closer together near the hall were closer together so the younger groups didn’t feel to secluded. there was a couple docks on the lake for fishing and kayaks. There was a large shed on the right side of the lake at the trail head for hiking and outdoor equipment. Behind the lake was where we gathered for the late night campfires. There was one main fire bit with logs and old wood bleachers that we used for large groups on the first and last night of the trip. On the left of the lake was just tall dense woods. The lake was only maybe 300 ft across but was clean and during summer we can swim in it. Since its winter, the lake has been frozen over and we play ice games. On occasion we will have people from Northoak come over to the camps and teach rope knots, tell us stories, give us history lessons and my favorite is Jim that comes by every time we are out here and gives us special tours of the forest on hidden trails. He knows so much about the history here and has a spot for creepy eerie stories. he keeps them PG for the kids but he’s told us so crazy things when its just the councilors. Jim liked to hang around even after he had been paid and set to go home. He’s like 30 something and has that urban explorer vibe to him. He will bring a tent and his own supplies and camp out on the a little ways into the tree line. Sometimes he will come find the councilors past hours and tell stories and drink with us. It was our secret, because I’m sure he would get fired if he was caught by the management team.
there were about 30 councilors and around 70 kids, about 2-3 councilors per cabin which had anywhere from 15-20 kids. The councilors all had there little clicks. Last year it was just Me, Jillian, Piper and our friend Autumn. This year it looks like Lucas is going to be apart of the click. Maybe surrounding him with girls will make him used to interaction and less socially awkward. Who knows, maybe he’s actually fun to be around. We gathered in the center of the camp and split up into our assigned groups.
Jillian, Piper and I were all in the same cabin while Lucas, Autumn, we in the cabin next to ours. Our cabins was the furthest away from the center which means we had the most trust and least amount of eyes on us. The kids we had were awesome, all of them were in previous camps and were veterans of Virtik. I’m sure Autumn and Lucas had the same scenario. Our cabin was huge, it was old but had a humble vibe to it. There were two stories with bunkbeds in every room. A large living room and a fireplace. No televisions and no electronics. Just board games and team activities. We took some time to settle in, unpacking and setting up the necessities. We all met in the living room and went over the schedule for the following 10 days. Due to lack of equipment, the camps all had to rotate activities throughout the day so everyone could do everything. The first on our list was a hike on the east side of the lake, one I’ve gone on many times. We gathered our equipment and began out the door and over to the trail head. White tip was the name of the first trail, one of many. I took lead on this hike while piper took the back and Jillian took the middle. We began up the trail going slow enough so the children could talk and get to know each other. About half a mile into the forest I began to get a pit in my stomach. We rounded a corner only for me to find a tree with a symbol carved into the trunk, the symbol was abnormally high up, around 10 feet from the ground. This wasn’t here last year and I haven’t seen anything like it. I didn’t really have to much concern so I made up a story about it on the spot for the campers and continued down the trail. It wasn’t long until we came across what looked like a pile of clothes. I told the group to stay in place while I checked it out. I walked over to find a hoodie on top of a backpack and shoes. They look like they have been here for quite sometime. The shoes and jacket looked a bit weathered and honestly gross. The backpack had a few bugs on it but for the most part was in okay condition. I ended up taking the backpack with us but I wasn’t going to touch the shoes or the hoodie. The rest of the trail was beautiful, we stopped at a small point in elevation and ate our lunches. After sometime we headed back to our cabin. As we rounded the lake we passed Autumns camp headed to the trail head in a single file line. Autumn was lead while Lucas was in the rear.
“white tip?” Autumn asked as we passed by
“yeah, have fun” I replied
Lucas put his hand out to high five the campers as we passed by.
the vibe was all here and it feels like a good start to our trip.
We got back inside as the campers brushed off the mud and snow and piled their boots by the door. I ran to the room I’m staying in and shoved the backpack under the bed. I went back to the living room and announced snack time. We laid back and rested for an hour before going back outside. We played some games until the sun started to set. The dinner bell rang from the center of camp. The cabin groups all got into a single file line as we walked toward the cafeteria.
There were four long tables that sat the campers while the counselors sat at the end of the tables. Jillian, Piper, Autumn, Lucas and I sat at table three on one of the ends.
we were having a great time so far, the campers were all smiles, us counselors were catching up. Lucas was surprisingly pleasant as well. He still gave me the creeps from time to time, but he was conversing and laughing. I would see glimpses of his old self but over time he would fall back into his quiet, cryptic state.
the sun was down and it was time to all gather by the main fire pit behind the lake. We had 3 councilors in charge of handing out smores while others took turns telling PG level scary stories. as the night went on we heard a rustling in the bushes, there was a pause then Jim popped out with a low level scream.
AHHHH! He shouted as the kids all screamed back. The yelling turned to laughing as they realized it was Jim. He stole the spot light and told the story about the time he saw bigfoot, and followed that story with a tall tale about a witch that lives in the woods. true or not it was a show and we loved it. Jim ended his performance and found us in the crowd as we cleared a spot for him.
“hey you” I said shaking his hand
“good to see you Taylor” he replied as he sat down beside me
“so tell me Jim, Were those stories true or fake”
“give or take, but I cant tell you what parts” he replied with a smile.
the night went on as more and more people got up to tell short stories.
one by one the councilors rounded up their groups and departed to their cabin for the night.
the last couple camps were my group and Autumns group. We gathered together and instructed the campers to take out their flashlights as we put out the fire so we weren’t stuck in the dark.
we continued through the break in the trees and gathered all camps to do another head count at the tree line.
“56!” Lucas shouted from the rear of the groups.
“56” piper followed
Jim caught up to the front
“he Taylor, I’m gunna head out, ill see you later okay”
“sounds good” as I hugged him goodbye.
I felt a light shine on my torso as I pulled off that disappeared shortly after I looked over.
Jim began to walk the tree line with his camping backpack and a flashlight, he walked no more than 100 ft before disappearing into the trees.
I looked back at the campers to find my locking eyes with Lucas. It was beyond obvious he was very jealous, just by his eyes alone. He began to smile shaking his head shortly after.
I began laughing cause I found pretty amusing, I turned back to lead us back to the cabins. We parted ways with Autumns camp and piled into the living room. Piper lit a Fire while Jillian helped out organizing the boots and jackets at the door. One by one the children found there way to their rooms and went to bed.
It began to snow lightly with a full moon glowing through the clouds it was windy and cold outside but the warmth of the fire was enough to keep the inside cozy. We were all sitting in the living room wrapped in blankets, when my phone sounded. Shortly after, pipers sounded followed by Jillians. Autumn had started a group chat with all of us. She went on to say Lucas didn’t have a phone so she would be communicating for the both of them. There were a couple more numbers in the group chat that weren’t ours which I assumed were some of Autumns friends.
another text sounded: what time are we meeting up?
Jillian replied: The last goblin just went to bed so give us an hour.
that was the rule. Wait one hour after the last kid goes to bed before exiting.
“who are the other numbers” Piper added to the group chat
“they are councilors from different cabins, I am going to pay them five dollars an hour to stay up in our cabin while we go out. They don’t want to go into the woods late at night so they agreed to babysitting our campers” Autumn replied
“perfect, give us an hour and meet us at the firepit we were at last year” I added
Jillian retrieved her backpack and packed it with necessities for the fire along with the giant flask.
after an hour we heard a knock on the cabin door.
I walked over and opened it to find a councilor I haven’t seen before.
“hi my name is Cody, I’m going to watch your cabin while your gone” he said taking a step inside.
“awesome, I know this might be weird but can I see your councilor ID.” I replied
“Of course” he said unzipping his coat, “here” he stated as he lifted up his id attached to lanyard.
The girls gathered there things and continued past Cody and out the door.
he gently shut the cabin door behind us followed by a lock. We turned on our flash lights and started toward the north east side of the lake.
we found the glow from a fire from the distance, as we approached we found Lucas, Autumn and Jim sitting on a couple logs surrounding the fire pit.
“care to join us” Jim said sarcastically in an old English accent
we found our spots on the log and began unloading our packs.
“a flask?” Autumn asked unzipping her bag. ” I brought one two” she added
“I’m glad we all came prepared” I responded as we all laughed
“so hows everyone been” Jim asked while reaching out for the flask
“good” we all replied one by one
“Lucas, nice to see you again, how you doing since we last spoke” Jim asked turning towards Lucas
“oh, I have my days” Lucas replied sarcastically with a small grin
" I bet” Jim replied
“when did you two meet last” Jillian asked
there was a long pause as Jim slowly looked over at Lucas, I don’t think it was Jims place to say anything
“a couple months ago” Lucas said breaking the silence.
“we haven’t seen you at school in a while”
" I know” he interrupted
" I found Lucas out here a couple months ago walking along the trails, it was late so I approached him” Jim added
“I don’t remember much that night but after I saw jim, we talked and after jim brought me back home” Lucas said appearing a little uncomfortable
what were you doing Jim” Piper responded
“camping, dork” he responded
I noticed Lucas beginning to get quiet so I attempted to steer the topic away from him.
“tell us a story Jim” I said with excitement.
I’m glad he did, this one was about a man of faith that was loved by all, than one day turned on his family, murdering everyone followed by a self hanging.
I noticed that throughout Jims story there were moments Lucas would grin and laugh to himself, he would then look in his peripherals to see if anyone saw him. What I thought would refocus his attention triggered some wierd behavior.
we continued telling stories for a little longer until we finally had to wrap up and head back into camp. Once we left the fire pit we made our way through the tree line. Jim parted ways again as the rest of us found our way back to the campers. As we approached our cabin, we gave Autumn and Lucas hugs goodbye.
“I’m sorry” Lucas said softly as we pulled off
puzzled I responded “sorry for what” low enough for the others not to here
" ill see you tomorrow Ms. Taylor” he responded turning around walking toward his cabin
There’s that pit in my stomach again, I stood and watched puzzled as they faded into the fog by their cabin. That was something only edd and I shared, that was our thing. It wasn’t flattering, it didn’t bring on a smile, if anything it was eerie. I’m assuming he’s sorry for the way he acted at the fire pit, maybe he saw me look at him. I don’t know, what I do know is that its cold and I want to get inside. I turned around to find Jillian and piper waiting by the door to our cabin. I walked over as Piper knocked. Shortly after Cody answered the door and let us in. he began packing his things into his book bag.
“do any of you care to spare me a cigarette” Cody asked
“yeah, mine are menthol, hope you don’t mind” Jillian responded as Cody walked over to the front door
“we will all go out with you” I added
we don’t know Cody, I guess I would just feel better if we all went instead of letting Jillian go alone.
we all stepped outside piling under covering in the front of the cabin. We all took turns passing around the lighter while lighting up our cigarettes.
we talked for a little while, it seemed like Jillian and Cody were getting friendly as well. Cody was pretty mellow and also had a spot for abnormal things like the paranormal and urban legends. When I asked him if he’s seen anything strange here he said time to time, he can make out things walking in the woods from a far, he’s seen people walking with glows from what says flash light, to people walking around with no glow at all. He said sometimes the figures can be short around 3 feet tall or tall at around 15 ft. what stood out the most was his story from camp last year in the fall. He said he saw someone walk from the cafeteria, through the camp and into the forest, it walked rather slow with a crooked posture. Cody said he sat at his window and waited for it to return until he couldn’t anymore and fell asleep, when he woke up there were cops in the front lot, questioning some of the councilors.
I didn’t wanna start a conversation about the similarities, so I left it alone, I’m just glad someone else sees weird things in the woods as well.
we parted ways after Cody and Jillian exchanged numbers. We went inside and killed the fire before climbing into our beds.

The horn sounded at 8 AM the next morning, it was time for breakfast. We rounded up the campers and took a head count before heading into the cafeteria. It was a calm morning, we had little clouds and some clear weather. The snow was sticking from last night and the trees were giving off the best aroma having the whole camp smell like fresh pine. We entered the cafeteria and found our seats at table 3.
“how did everyone sleep” Autumn asked taking a sip of coffee
“good” we all responded one by one
“how bout you Lucas” I asked glancing over
“I don’t really sleep when I’m here” he responded
“why not” piper asked ” the beds are actually not that bad
“I don’t know, really. I haven’t since we were all kids. I sleep fine at my grandmas but not here”
“wait, your grandmas? I thought you were still living with your dads” Jillian responded
“not anymore. I had to move in with my grandma last Autumn, we had some family issues at home” he replied
“so after you moved out, you left school and stopped coming to camp?” I asked trying not to add to the bombardment of questions.
“I guess so” Lucas responded looking down followed by a small grin.

“Campers! 123 eyes on me” we heard coming from one of the senior councilors the front of the cafeteria
" 1 2 eyes on you” the children all repeated back at once
“alright I want everyone to get in your groups and get ready for your morning adventures!”
“that’s our que” piper said as we all got up to round up the goblins.
we got out side and did another head count once we got outside
" uh oh, looks like a giant thundercloud found us” Jillian said as she looked up at the sky.
“shit” piper said as she glanced up
“shit” repeated one of the campers
I shook my head as we started towards the cabin. Once we arrived the campers put together their hiking gear.
first we went on our morning hike on a little longer of a trail than the first one. We ate our packed lunch on the way back into camp. after we played on the ice that covered the lake. It began to get very foggy around 2PM and by 3 we had very light snow. We had a snow ball fight between camps than after hung out in the cabin for a little, while we waited for the horn to sound again for dinner. The wind began to howl outside the cabin, the snow pelted the windows as faint thunder was sounding from the distance. I loved this whether, the woods grew dark with a dence layer of fog hovering in the trees. The sun was begging to go down as the lights from the lamps outside struggled to show anything but a dim glow.
I sat on the couch with some hot chocolate keeping an overall view of the kids. Piper appeared from the kitchen with what looked like a glass of juice.
“Piper!?” I shouted trying to get her to come over to the couch
“what’s up” she replied
“I’m going to step outside real quick, I shouldn’t be far from the cabin, ill be back in like 15 minutes” I stated grabbing the drink from her hands
“I gotchu” she replied as I took a sip
“jesus, that’s strong piper”
she smiled as I got up and started towards the door. I stepped outside and grabbed the cigarettes from my coat pocket. It was dark, with the snow dying down the wind continued to howl. No one was outside other than me. There was a log that the girls and I would go to if we didn’t want to venture to the firepits. The log was tucked away on the treeline behind the cabins. I liked to do this thing where I would walk outside with no light. If there was a street lamp or any light that illuminated where I was going, I would walk in the dark until I got there. It was like a little challenge, but the more I did this growing up, the more I fell in love with the aesthetic of it. The log was far away but there was a trail lamp at the treeline that didn’t seem to far from the log. So I started towards the lamp smoking my cigarette. I could see the glow from the cafeteria off in the distance. The silhouettes of the kitchen workers would pass by the windows from time to time. It was colder than usual, I put my hand in my pocket as I got closer to the treeline. I was about 200 ft away when the wind had put out my cigarette so I went to grabbed my lighter out to relight it. As I went to put it back I dropped it in the snow. I knelt down to retrieve it when I heard a rustling in the trees ahead. I looked up to see the faint glow I was following rise up a little, than disappear into the trees. I stood up quickly and began walking faster towards the treeline. As I approached, I looked for a trail lamp but couldn’t find one, I couldn’t even find the post it would be on. I sat down on the log puzzled but also kind of scared. The wind began to die down as the snow grew heavier. It felt tense, like anticipation with nothing to be waiting for. i sat for a couple minutes trying to enjoy a decent moment. I grabbed another cigarette and lit it as I looked across the camp towards the treeline on the other side of camp. it was barely visible with the fog rolling through. I wonder what edd is doing, I’ve been thinking of him since I got here. I figured I should call him, it would be nice to talk to him right now. I figured id call him on my way back to the cabin. It has been about 10 minutes already and something about where I was sitting didn’t feel right, so I began back towards the cabin. I grabbed my phone and went to call but was cut short by a tone. I don’t think I had service, so I tried again but with no prevail. I continued on as the snow began to get a little bit heavier. The fog was drifting through the camp with little breaks of visibility, I looked out towards the other side of the camp when I was able to see the tree line. A faint glow slowly appeared across the camp, at the edge of the opposing treeline. I stopped to see if I could get a better look, but was cut off shortly after by the next wave of rolling fog. For the sake of my sanity I convinced myself it was a faulty trail lamp that turned back on. I had no other explanation and the pit in my stomach was there again. I walked back to the cabin as fast I could, as I approached I see pipers head pop out from the door.
“come inside bitch, its time for a connect four tournament, and you are first up!”
I wonder how much she drank
I got inside and took off my boots and coat. I walked over to the living room where the campers had a bunch of connect four games out and a whiteboards with the campers names.
“alright who am I playing first” I shouted looking around for a camper to raise their hand.
as the hands went up, the horn sounded for dinner time.
“Alright camp, we are going to get on our gear and get in a single file line” Jillian yelled above the kids
the campers one by one got in line as we began out the door into the snow.
at night when we walked around camp, we always had the leader and rear hold lanterns and a flashlight, this way from far away you could see the size of the camp and if a camper were to fall out without us noticing, the could easily follow the glow. One by one the camps left their cabins and began walking towards the cafeteria. I looked back over to the treeline across the frozen lake, I couldn’t find the trail lamp from before.
after dinner we walked back to the cabin to grab the things, we needed for the fire pit. The snow was now faint with dense fog covering the frozen lake. We gathered our things and made our way to our pit. We arrived a couple minutes before Lucas and Autumns camp did so we built the fire and unpacked the smore stuff. a little while later Jim began to make his rounds. He would go fire pit to fire pit individually and jump scare the kids at the climax of what ever story was being told. I figured he wanted to start off with our camp by just telling a story.
“Good evening to all!” Jim began
“I wanted to start tonight off with a story of my own if that okay with all of you, two groups are among the oldest campers we have so I figured to tell you a little story on the mor unfiltered side, is that okay with you”!
“yaaaaaaa!” the campers jointly responded
" okay so I’m going to make it a little short because I have a lot of camps to get to tonight okay? This story takes place in this very forest, it begins with a camper, about my age. Not a camper like you guys but a camper like me. One that wonders through the day and sleeps in his tent at night. He was a peaceful man and loved doing what he did. One night his light went out and he was stuck wondering the night for a dry place to pitch a tent. He wrapped his damp sock around a stick and lite it give him some light. After a little bit of time he stumbled upon something he will never forget. A man and a woman both hanging from the trees. The bodies were high up, about 20 feet attached to another 10 feet of rope. It looked impossible for them to climb that high and throw them selves off with out any troubles in between. The man and women appeared to be gutted and mutilated beyond recognition. Jaws dehinged, eyes were missing, the whole scene was something of night terrors.”
Jim continued with his story as I couldn’t help but to get distracted by something in the forest. The pit began to come back and the night seemed to grow a little darker. Through the fog I saw a faint light appear again. Fixated I watched it slowly move through the trees and gradually stop at a spot about 50 feet away, the light moved in a high to low motion before going out. I followed the path the light would have traveled if it would have stayed lit to find Lucas, staring at a blank spot on the floor by the fire. His grin was long, like his mouth was wider on each side. His concentration broke as he slowly began to look in my direction, I looked down at the floor beneath him to avoid eye contact. It was them, he was was wearing the shoes, the shoes from the trail. I grew numb as I looked back up at Lucas only to be met by the same smile. This wasn’t a smile that reflected emotion. This was a smile that was on a face whose eyes were locked into a deep indescribable gaze. A smile that did not belong on that face, a smile that was covering up the look in Lucas’s eyes. I quickly looked back over to Jim and tried tuning back into his story.
" He ran and ran, both away from that scene, as well as after whatever this person or thing was. He followed it through the trees, watching as objects flung from it, the man stepped over them as he ran faster after it. it was like it wanted him to follow it, it would run and stop shortly only to begin running full speed again. It was laughing, singing, screaming in many different languages and tones that belonged to many different people. The moment he realized this is only going to lead to a terrible ending. He stopped in his tracks, retraced his steps and began gathering the things that the figure dropped. Surprised, he found a jacket, a pair of shoes, and an old backpack with a missing zipper. He put them all in a pile and left them on the trail. The idea was to see whatever that was would reclaim the items.”
a few of the campers were noticeably sook while the others were completely silent. There was a long pause as the campers all looked at each other, Jim turned his head towards me and winked with a slight grin.
" They were untouched until recently” he added to break the tension.
the silence broke as the campers all turned to eachother sharing opinions about the story.
“thank you guys, ill try and make it back before bed time.” He announced while walking over to me. As Jillian got up to quiet the campers jim bent town behind me
" to answer your questions, yes” he said into my ear before continuing into the woods. I looked back over to Jillian, than to Autumn, I had no words and I was getting nauseous from the pit that is now overwhelming my state of mind. I got up and walked over towards Pipper,
“hey I’m going to go make a call, ill be right back”
she nodded as she began to hand out smore supplies to the campers.
I walked through the trees and into the field next to the frozen lake. I sat on a log facing the cabins, I couldn’t look into the forest, not right now. I lit a cigarette and took out my phone, I had a couple bars so I called Edd.
“Hey you” he answered
“hey! How have you been?”
" I’m alright, we are at our investigation, I broke off to answer” he replied laughing a little
" haha do they know I’m on the phone”
" I don’t think Jacob knows but I think Ashton has a clue” he said as the wind began howling from his end of the phone
" either way its nice to talk to you, I haven’t been feeling right lately”
" we are on the same boat, whats going on” he asked
" I don’t know really, if its okay I don’t wanna talk about it to much at the moment, sorry if that’s rude, I don’t wanna think about to much right now ” I said trying not to sound like a bitch.
“don’t stress it I completely get it, ill wait until youre back in town, and take your time dear”
I blushed, taking a drag of my cig
“you’re going to have to take me to that cafe soon, ill spill all the tea” I said hoping he would take some hint
“well I guess I’m going to have to take you out then huh” he replied as we both laughed lightly to ourselves.
“any update on Blancas book” I asked
“we translated a little bit and found descriptions of some crazy shit” he added as the wind began to howl again. ” I can tell you that there is so much more to Northridge than we thought”
“I cant wait, I have a lot of questions” I added
“so how is Lucas, has he caused any bullshit yet,you got little hands but I’m sure you could knock him out clean if you tried Mrs. Taylor”

The phone went silent.
I looked down only to find my home screen. I got up and began to walk back to the campfire. I walked over to Jillian and knelt down to grab the flask out of her bag, I tucked it away so no one would see it as I walked back out to the field to take a few swigs.
Fuck this feeling, whatever it is, it doesn’t feel good. Leaned against the tree and looked out towards the fog hoovering over the frozen lake. It was a moment I needed. The night was quiet except for the faint voices off in the trees.
after a few moments I returned to the pit to find everyone happy enjoying their smores. Even Lucas was laughing with the kids and having a good time. This is what I was waiting for, a good time.
we stayed out for a couple more hours before returning the children to their beds. We hung out in the Livingroom around the fireplace, sneaking shots while the night carried on. It wasn’t long before we were back to laughing and playing around. We played cards and talked about my conversation with Edd. Jillian was texting back and forth with Cody pretty much every 5 minutes.
“is that Cody” piper asked obviously knowing the answer
" yes ma’am, he’s going to be my boyfriend he just doesn’t know it yet” she responded
we all laughed as Jillian picked up her phone to reply
“he’s coming in 15 minutes to watch the campers again” she added
“again?” I responded laying back in the chair
“you don’t want to go out again? “Piper asked
" I do, I do, I’m just not in the mood right now, I’ve had a strange night”
“I can text autumn and make it a girls night?” we haven’t done that yet. Jillian added
“id rather do that to be honest” I replied
" I second that, here ill text autumn” Jillian responded.
we continued taking shots until Autumn wrote back saying that, its cool and she was excited
a few moments later a slight knock on the door sounded. We put on our gear and continued outside with Cody.
we all smoked our cigarettes outside as the snow began to grow a little stronger. A little while later, Autumn walked over to tour cabin. She went on to explain that she needs a drink because Lucas got a bit butthurt when she broke the news about it being a girls night. I guess he asked a lot of questions and then got defensive and quiet. I explained no one wanted to cause any shit, we just needed a break from the BS tonight, and want to have a night to ourselves, it should not be that hard to grasp.
We broke off and began towards the treeline behind the fozen lake while Cody went back into our cabin. We sat at our fire pit and talked for a few hours. For once, nothing felt out of place, just a bunch of good friends enjoying the fire. Once the night died out, we put out the fire and went back to our cabins. Jillian said goodbye to Cody, as we said goodbye to autumn. Cody met up with Autumn to walk her back to her cabin before heading back to his own. I’m glad we had a mellow ending to that night.

we woke up pretty early the next morning, the sun was just starting to show its light. The campers were all still asleep and we had a couple hours to kill before it was time to go to breakfast. The three of us stumbled into the kitchen one by one to make coffee. We sat on the couch trying to wake up. Piper grabbed her coffee then got up to look out the window, she wiped away the condensation from the window. She let out a gasp, than turned to us covering her mouth.
“what is it” Jillian asked
Jillians eyes shut as she leaned against the wall under the window, still covering her moth trying not to make noise.
I walked over and looked out the same spot. A racoon was hanging from the covering outside the cabins window. The belly was cut open with the intestines missing, just an open cavity. I open the door and find myself looking at the head of a deer facing the front door. The mouth was propped open with sticks. Long branches had been pushed into the eyes of the skull.
“we need to get rid of this before they wake up” I told Jillian as she went to grab scissors and towels.
I put on my boots and jacket and walk over to the head in the snow. I put my boot between the eyes and preyed out both branches. I walked over behind the cabin and buried them as deep as I could in the snow. I couldn’t help but shedding tears as I continued back to the front of the cabin. Jillian cut down the racoon and placed it in bag as I grabbed the towel and placed it over the deer’s head.
“we have to take them to the tree line, tell me if I leak its blood so we can cover up the trail”
Jillian nodded in disbelief
I picked up the head and began to carry it the best I could around the side and toward the back towards the trees. Jillian and I both began sobbing as I stopped to catch my breath.
we looked at each other without a word but I’m sure none were needed. We proceeded to dump head and the racoon and walked as fast as we could back to the cabin, covering up any blood along the way. We rounded the corner to find piper with a shovel covering up the pool of blood along with the muscle and tendons left from the neck. We made things as normal looking as we could.
we went back inside and sat in the living room, speaking only once in a while, but otherwise each of us staring blankly at different spots in the room until the first group of campers found their way onto the couches.
I think we knew we weren’t going to talk about this one for some time, but I think we all subtly agreed that the whole atmosphere we had here at Virtik had changed. Our walk to the cafeteria was silent, I began to have a little bit of paranoia followed by anxiety. I avoided dialog with Lucas at this point, I couldn’t get the image of that smile out of my head. We did our best to carry a positive attitude for the campers.

later that night we left the cafeteria after dinner, the snow was light but the fog was very dense. I didn’t understand why Lucas wouldn’t really talk to us. He avoided a lot of questions when we tried to involve him, he even got up and went to the bathroom for a long time, when he came back his eyes were red like he had been crying but avoided any questions as if he was okay or not. Autumn was acting a little different, I assumed it was because of our long night, maybe she was as hung over as the rest of us. She would often stare off or stop in the middle of her sentence to follow it with ” I’m sorry what was I talking about” we would all laugh it off but it happened three or four times. Just seemed strange.
I got up and walked out the side door into the night as my phone continued ringing.
“Hey you” I answered
“whats up punk, I had a moment to call you so here I am”
“are you alone” I asked walking under the yellow light on the side of the cafeteria
“yes I am, why? Should I take my pants off?” edd said playing with his belt buckle is if he were about it
I laughed,” stop edd, haha, I’m trying to be serious, are you alone”
“yeah I’m alone, whats up” he responded.
“remember the racoon, the one outside the house?” I asked
" yes”
“well there was another one outside our cabin this morning” I added
“you fucking with me” edd replied
“that’s not the whole thing either, there was a dears head facing the door as well, the eyes were impaled with tree branches, just like the racoons”
“I have Blanca’s book with me, I haven’t really put it down.” He began going through the pages
“okay I’m looking at a drawing of an elk, she drew branches perduring out of the eyes, underneath the drawing she wrote something about how when nature is impaled through the eyes, the soul can no longer see, they are easier to transport or consume”
“to transport? That sounds sacrificial” I responded
“your guess is the same as mine dear”
“everything aside I’m scared Edd, you should have seen this thing” I said looking out into the treeline
“and that’s normal Taylor, its normal to be scared after that, but its gunna be okay, okay?, right now I just want you to breathe and focus on being strong for the campers and for J and Piper, if it gets worse, I can always make my way up there, okay?” he responded
he has a good point, Jillian and Piper are also leaders, but to them I’m their leader
“youre right, thank you Mr. Edd, this had to be the trip you couldn’t make, my luck” I said trying not to smile like a dork. That dark feeling came back as I stared back into the trees
“I’m beginning to regret that decision” he said laughing to himself
“I’m gunna let you you go Mr. Edd, I have to get back to my camp, hey thank you for listening.”
“ill talk to you soon Ms. Taylor” he replied before hanging up.
I walked back into the cafeteria to find Autumn in a better mood talking once again. Meanwhile Lucas seemed even more upset, he was acting like a bitch and it became hard to give him any sympathy.
We had plans to meet up with Jim after the campers went to bed. This time all of us will go so bitchboy wont throw a tantrum.
we returned to the cabin right before the wind started to pick up. I went into my room to change out my socks when I saw the corner of paper peeking out from under my pillow. I walked over to it and lifted the pillow. It was a ripped sheet of paper with a dark stain bleeding through the other side. I opened the paper to find a note that read ” you can keep it” accompanied by two twigs in the center of the note.
I looked closer and saw that the letters had texture to them. The ink was dark brown or maroon with spots that bled through the paper. I held it closer to the light. That’s defiantly dried blood, and there is defiantly fur in the letters and around the twig. I walked over to the closet and placed the note on the shelf near the back. I walked over to the bed and knelt beside it, the back pack was still there. I grabbed it and placed it beside me as I shut the door. “what the fuck” I said softly as I shut the door. I sat at the foot of the bed and opened the backpack. There were two note books labeled math and English. I opened the English one to find notes from the begging of the school semester in June. The notes were normal but as I flipped through the pages I noticed the words became more misspelled and the spacing was misplaced, as I continued I began to see words that weren’t English anymore, instead something I haven’t seen. When the date read August I began to see symbols, accompanied by clear English with normal hand writing but the sentences did not make any sense. When the date turned to November, I began to see drawings, drawings of two people hung in trees with sentences underneath in another language. The scenes were from all different angles and scenes as well as different styles but all portrayed two individuals hanging by ropes with an open thoracic cavity. The images stopped in September but at the end of the book were about ten pages with scattered sentences in both English and in another language. Toward the end I began to see the same dark brown lettering but this time there was hair dried into the letters. One page read ” a promise he could not keep is not one that I should weep” I opened up the math notebook and saw pretty much the same pattern. At the end of the book I found more notes, one that read ” to spread a seed, desires fed, once he’s born, I present ones head”. I went back to the back pack and found a picture fame with two adults, one male and female. I’m sure they were a husband and wife, with a bloody hand print stain on the glass. I reached back in to find mor pictures along with jewlery and a watch. I bought my hand into the light to find it completely tangled with hair, human hair. I grabbed everything and placed it back into the backpack and shoved it under the bed. I rushed into the bathroom and washed my hands as thoroughly as I could. I let the water run for a while as I tried to collect my self. I couldn’t help but start thinking how bad I just wanted to go home. I am scared, I did not sign up for this experience and I want to go home, I want to go home, I just want to go home. I dried my hands off and gave myself a talk in the mirror. ” its okay Taylor, its okay. After this week, you don’t have to do camp again, its okay, everyone else will understand, you don’t have to do this anymore, but right now you do Taylor. You have to put on that face and show these kids a good time. Not right now Taylor.”
I looked up at the mirror and looked into my own eyes for a moment. I walked out the bathroom and went back into the room, changed, then went back out to the Livingroom with the camp.
“Alright everyone, one two three, eyes on me” I shouted across the cabin
“one two eyes one you” the campers repeated back
“okay so we are going to all walk over to our fire pit, I want all of you to grab your boots and jackets, then get back in line, ready go”
the campers rushed to their rooms and grabbed their jackets. Then returned to their spot in line
" okay campers, one two three, follow me”
“One two follow you” the campers shouted back.
we walked alongside the frozen lake about 40 feet away from the tree line. The snow was howling and the snow was beginning to pick up, but the fog settled in the trees. The campers began singing campfire songs which is of course a tradition. I began singing along with the campers as I tried to clear enough snow with my feet so the campers wouldn’t struggle. I looked to my left into the tree line to see a low hanging dense layer of fog. A flicker of light caught my eye. A dim glow appeared from within the trees. The light was moving at the same pace as we were walking through the field. The light shook then rose about four feet before breaking up into a bunch of separate lights, than disappearing into the trees. I ignored it as best as I could and made my way to the pit. Lucas and Autumn had already arrived and had a fire going.
Autumn seemed to be in a little bit of a funk. She kept looking down during the stories and would shut her eyes real tight, when she was spoken to she put on a smile and entertained the conversation but quickly went back to staring off into the trees. Jim came back around and told a story about a man that was stocked by a giant creature. Piper told a story about a little girl that wondered to far from her family at night and went missing for years, she later returned but was never the same. Jillian told the story about the camp councilor that went missing years ago, and autumn told a couple stories about the children that went missing in the woods. Jim later jumped up and scared our camp which ended up scaring one of the kids, Eva, a little to much so, Eva stayed close to Lucas for the rest of the night. We continued to tell stories and make smores, I looked over at Lucas while Jillian was telling a story and saw Eva sitting on Lucas’s lap. Eva was very attentive towards the story but Lucas was holding Eva with his hands wrapped around her waist. I didn’t like that, I wanted to wait until the end of the story to talk to him about it. I looked back towards Jillian and continued to listen to her story, not even three minutes later I feel a tug on my coat.
“Taylor. Ms. Taylor”
“yes Eva, Whats up?” I asked
“Lucas tried to touch me Ms. Taylor, he put his hands here” as she pointed to her chest.
“stay here Eva, ill be right back, okay”
she nodded as I looked up towards Lucas, who had the same Grin from last night and the same eyes.
I walked behind the campers and made my way over to him
I took a large stick and nudged his back “come with me” I stated
Lucas turned around with a half smile “but Taylor we aren’t even halfway through Jillians story”
I walked up and got in his ear “get your fuckin ass up and come with me”
I walked a little way into the trees as Lucas followed behind.
“What the fuck Lucas, You touched Eva. How do you even think that’s okay Lucas, that not right” I said trying not hit him
" you have it wrong Taylor, I misplaced my hand, I swear” he said with a coarse tone.” I... I wanted to push her off and when I went to move my hand it landed on her breast. Taylor it was an accident, I’m sorry.” He added
“Lucas this is your one fucking chance okay, I hear you touch another kid like that or I see any other camper sitting on your lap, youre done, were getting you the fuck out of here, we have an understanding?” I stated
“yes, I understand” he responded chuckling to himself
" why the fuck are you smiling Lucas, I swear to god I’m not fucking around Lucas” I said doing my best not to raise my voice.
Lucas stood up straight with a slight grin,” you don’t need to swear to him Ms. Taylor”
“keep it up Lucas and ill have the sheriff here in no time, now go grab Eva, I want you to explain to her this was an accident, and you meant absolutely nothing by it.” I responded
“okay, okay, I will go do that” he’s said as he began to walk back to the camp.
I came back and listened to the rest of jilians story, Lucas cleared things with Eva. He ended up making her smores and would occasionally joke around with her until the next story started, it seemed like nothing ever happened. When the group ran out of stories to tell we agreed to play games around the fire pit. One of the games, was the game of telephone. We had all the campers sit side by side, the councilors would take turns saying a sentence to one of the campers on the end. By the time the message was relayed to the councilor at the opposite end, the message was altered so much it sounded like a different sentence. We had a lot of fun as we took turns sending messages to the other end.. I walked over to the camper on my end, Piper was on the opposite end.
I whispered ” I love to hike with my campers”
one by one the campers whispered in each others ear until it reached piper
“I ride a bike with a hamster” piper shouted with I huge smile
“no, I said I love to hike with my campers” I shouted back
all the campers began to laugh over the results. Lucas than got up and walked passed piper to the camper on the opposite end of me
he knelt down and whispered his sentence.
one by one the campers relayed the message to one another. Once it got to my end, one of the campers got up to deliver in my ear
“I hate racoons” she whispered
I looked up to see Lucas staring over at me as I stood up from the log.
“what is it!” the campers all shouted
“I love balloons” I repeated back to the group.
Lucas nodded as we maintained eye contact before looking back over to the camper
“okay campers!” he shouted
the kids became silent preparing for instruction.
“I want everyone in our camp to grab their things and line up behind me” Autumn yelled over the group
one by one the campers got up
the remaining campers grabbed there things and lined up behind Piper.
Autumn waved goodbye as they followed the trail back to their cabin
we instructed our camp to line up at the tree as we put the fire out, it was a long walk back to the cabin. It took an hour before all the campers went to sleep. Once they did we grabbed the bottle and found our place on the couches. Piper lit the fire as Jillian poured shots.
“123” piper counted down
“let’s do another” said Jillian said
“hey, are you two okay, I just want to clear the air”
“yeah, I’m okay. I’ve never seen anything like that before so I’m still processing it” piper responded
“I’m doing okay too, I just have so many questions” Jillian added
“right? But I have to tell you two something, I should have said something earlier but I wasn’t sure when the right time was, but, the night before you both slept over my house, we found a racoon hanging from the tree outside our house. It looked just like the one from the morning. The chest was open, and the insides were missing.” I said as I went to grab the shot glass from Jillian
" who the fuck would do that Taylor” Jillian asked timidly
“I don’t know, I can’t point any fingers” I said as I took another shot.
I really did not have any other speculation other than Yan, but that would defiantly cause laughter over understanding. I don’t think that they know to much about that story other than campfire tales
“I’ve never seen a head like that before just to be clear, that was new” I explained as I grabbed the remote. We only had VHS or DVD up here, we could not get a strong enough signal for cable. We all agreed to watch a horror movie before bed. We passed the flask back and forth along with popcorn, about an hour passed, I looked over to find Jillian and Piper asleep. The log in the fireplace looked like it had an hour left.
I continued watching the movie, after a few moments pipers phone went off, then Jillians phone, then mine.
I grabbed my phone from the cushion next to me
" les fint oak com e h er e Tempus est hope relinquere abandon est abandon come hope”
it was from Autumn.
my heart started racing, i pulled the blanket off my self and sat an the end of the couch. The pit in my stomach began to grow larger and deeper. I walked over to the front door and put on my boots and my jacket. I got my phone and continued out the front door into the dense fog. I went as fast as could through the layer of snow that blanketed the camp. there were no lights on inside of Autumn and Lucass cabin other than the living room window which I assumed to be from the fire place. I began to feel hopeful but the pit in my stomach was deeper than its ever been. Something wasn’t right, the night seemed to be more quiet, the lights appeared do be a little dimmer than usual. I couldn’t smell much and my body was consumed by a feeling numbness. I eventually approached their cabin. As I opened it I found all the lights out with a small fire in the fire place. Above the fire place about four feet from the mantel was a picture, it was a photo of thee men from the 1940 era all sitting on a log, smiling for the camera, all cabins had photos hung on the walls. I remember hanging this photo, but what I don’t remember were the eyes bleeding from all three men. I walked down the hallway to find that every picture hung up on the wall had people crying blood. I looked into all the campers rooms to find everyone asleep. I made my way into Autumns room and found it empty. I walked over to her bed and found a hoodie, layed out with dirt and damp spots. The bed sheets were on the floor along with clothes. I found ripped Sweatpants, some socks, a long sleeve shirt, and underwear. I went back into the hallway and into Lucass room. the room was empty, I walked over to the window, than back over to the bed. There was a phone on the nightstand. i put the phone in my pocket and found my way into the living room.
all cabins had two emergency lanterns on top of the cabinets for the councilors. One was already missing i grabbed other one and lit it as I continued outside. I looked down to find some indents in the snow that lead to the treeline behind the cabin, I followed until I reached the tree line, where I saw very faint glow moving through the trees. Everything inside me told me to go back but I continued to follow the trail and the light. My lantern wasn’t the brightest but it gave me a good range of vision as I continued across the creek and onto a small trail. I kept walking down this trail, I must have gone half a mile. I began to see a dim glow from a distance. I followed that glow as close as I could but I noticed it always kept a good distance and there really was no catching up to it.
the space between the trees grew dark, The light that I had been following down this trail stopped at a tree that had fallen over a little off trail.
I was numb, I did not know what to think. This was not adrenaline anymore, it wasnt any emotion I could describe, I was on autopilot. I felt the need to sit on that log. I grabbed the cigarettes from my coat, along with a lighter. The glow was extremely dim and at least twenty feet behind me into the trees. As I sat down I felt Lucas’s phone jab into my ribs a little bit.
I lit my cigarette than proceeded to take out the phone from my pocket tried to ignore my heart rate racing once again as I found my way to the home screen, I went to the messages and found that he only talks to three people, all don’t have saved numbers. I couldn’t help but to look through the conversations. Nothing really looked to concerning, they looked like normal conversations. I went back to the home screen than found my way to the picture gallery.

The first photo was of me, once it loaded I realized that through a cabin window, that was me changing, I was naked. The next photo was me, in the shower, inside my cabin, through the cabin window. I was naked, you could see everything, there were many of them, from my washing my hair to me shaving my arms and legs. The next was me sleeping. The first photo was me through the window, I was facing the closet under my blanket, the moon light lit my face. The next photo was me, telling a story at the fire pit. The angle looked as if it was takin from the back row, behind a bunch of campers. I remember this night but I had no clue in the slightest a picture was taken. The next five photos were from what I’m assuming is from the cafeteria. The pictures were from ankle height and between my legs from under the table. You wouldn’t be able to see anything given I was wearing pants The next was a photo of me sleeping on the bus, piper and Jillian were talking in the back round, Autumn was facing the campers, I was asleep with my face on the window of the bus.
the next was a picture taken outside my house, from outside into my bedroom. It was me changing the bathroom while Jillian and piper were in my room before bed. The next was a picture of us dancing in my Livingroom. The next photo was me showering at my house, the morning after we found the dead racoon. The following phot was Edd and I Laying together in bed. The next was me sleeping in bed, it was hot so I was outside my covers. I don’t sleep with a shirt sometimes, sometimes when it gets hot I am naked. The next nine photos were from different nights, I was either completely naked, topless, bottomless or completely wrapped in a blanket. The next photos were taken of the ground. It looked like a trail but the pictures were blurry. There were four more pictures of me two were up skirts , one was another showering photo and the other was another one of me sleeping.
I felt so stupid, blaming the flashes of lights on lighting. There was no thunder but I ignored that part, I woke up countless times to that flash, I have never felt so angry. I took another moment, I tried hard not to cry.
I finished my cigarette, the glow was gone. I grabbed my lantern and continued down the trail. I walked for a few more minutes until I reached a left in the trail. I followed the path into an opening. When I looked up, I saw her
she was open, she was hanging from the trees. The rope was very long and tied to a branch about forty-five feet up. There were branches perduring out of her eyes. Her nose was missing, she had a couple lacerations that looked carved into her legs and stomach. She was naked with he neck extended, with a purple tint to her skin the space around here eyes were bruised. Her skull was slightly caved in. blood was running down the inside of her left thigh, dripping off her foot. Her insides were missing. one arm was completely broken, bending like there was a third joint.
i placed my lantern on the ground and got on my knees beside it. I began to weep, tears ran down my face as I tried to stay as quiet as possible. I covered my mouth and cried into my hands, my nose ran and my mouth watered. I looked up to see if what I was seeing was true. My vision was met by the bottom of Autumns feet. I looked back at the ground as my stomach dropped. I looked at the leaves and the sticks that covered the floor. The wind died down and it became completely silent. The snow was soft and the branches were the most beautiful shade of brown.
I began to feel a bit of pressure on my scalp. My head lifted up, my hands could no longer touch the ground, I heard heavy breathing as my body began to drag across the dirt.
I couldn’t see anything but the moving ground. I couldn’t scream, the pain in my face from the tension in my scalp was unbearable, I couldn’t scream. My feet dragged across the ground as my body was brought to a log on the side of the trail. I began to feel a pressure that ran up my spine. As my head dropped onto a log about nine inches high with dirt and snow covering the base where it was slightly buried.
“Bite” a coarse voice slowly sounded from behind me
I began to feel the night grow cold, the wind had completely stopped, there was almost no sound left within the trees other than occasional wind.
a moment passed, my thoughts began to dissipate, I lifted my head and placed my teeth into the bark of the tree. I could taste the dirt and wood. I could smell pine more prominent than ever, I felt a sense of solitude.
I heard a deep breath from behind me... I closed my eyes and took a long deep breath as a flake of snow landed on my neck.

It didn’t hurt
it didn’t hurt like I thought it would
I opened my eyes the moment I began to feel snap in my jaw. I felt the crack of my bones I heard the sound of my skull cave in, the corners of my mouth had spit open all the way the the ears. when my head bounced off the log, everything went dark, and when I opened again I saw the log with hair taking up most of my sight. I could smell the iron, I could taste the acid coming up from my stomach. I felt the back of my neck continuously get stomped as my head helplessly caved in slowly. The contents of my skull were scattered all along the trail as my head bounced off the log
I opened my eyes once more to find myself no longer feeling much at all, I was numb. A few more moments went by.
I was trying to breathe; it was so difficult.
I placed my hands on the ground trying to gain some balance. I continued to feel jolting up and down my spine, but eventually that stopped as well.
I was able to make my way over to the side of the trail.
It was him. It was Lucas, he was on top of my body. I watched my body helplessly move back and forth. My head was caved in, my mouth was split wide open. He had stomped the back of my head while I bit that log. My eyes were bleeding, my nose was broken. There were deep lacerations starting from the corner of my mouth that ended at my ears. My pants and underwear were around my ankles.
he did things to me, he did things to me I beg not to repeat, I sat there and watched him do things to me... things I couldn’t control. I sat on that log for an hour and watched Lucas torment my limp body. He stripped me of my clothes, he took the lantern I brought and broke one panel of glass that lined the casing of the wick.
he carved things into me, he laughed, he spoke in languages I couldn’t comprehend. He cut my jugular and drained the last bit of blood I had with whatever pressure was left in my body. He carved symbols into my stomach, he ate my intestines, he ate , he cut them open and stuffed them down his throat. One by one he cut them up and ate them, he ate my lungs, he cut open my liver and rubbed it all over his face,
I watched it
I watched all of it, every last bit of it, until my skin turned white, I watched him lay next to my body, I watched him pet my face, I watched him laugh and stare out into the trees as he chuckled to himself, he walked over to my corpse and placed his hand on my lifeless bodies stomach
he then laughed to himself and stripped naked. He had that large grin, the grin that did not belong to his face, he stared into the trees with his eyes wide open, my body wrapped in his arms. That smile never disappeared. I got up from where I was sitting and walked as fast as I could trying not to make a sound until I found a small break in the trail. I saw a glow, a larger glow from a distance. it looked like a fire, I began to run through the trees, slowly approaching the glow.
eventually I approached a fire pit that sat deep in the trees,
I found a camp counselor surrounded by a group of kids.
“hey! Hi, I need y, I need your help ,” I said trying to grab the councilors attention
“Hi Taylor, please sit”
she said, then looking back over to the kids.
I walked over and took a seat on the log next to a little girl, the councilor continued her story about two children that went camping with their dad, the children left the tent in the middle of the night. There bodies were never found.
two of the kids looked at each other and began to laugh a little bit.
" excuse me, what is your name? I haven’t seen you around” I asked the councilor as the story ended
she slowly turned her head towards me “my name is Nichole, this over here is Thomas, this young lady over here is Becca. To the left of you is Walker and to the right of you is Niomi” Nichole said as she grabbed Niomis hand.
I immediately stood up, I began running back into the forest. I ran until I eventually wound up in front of my body once again. Lucas was still laying next to my corpse staring into the trees.
I sat on the log and began to cry, I did my best not to make any sounds, Lucas slowly turned his head in my direction after hearing me sob, he saw me, he is looking right at me. He presented that smile, that fucking smile. He stared at me for a few moments then turned to look back into the trees. I saw something approach from the distance, it stopped for a moment that proceeded to get closer. He was abnormally tall, old, wore ripped old coat and carried a lantern. His eyes were dark and his hair was long. I watched as he passed by me and approached Lucas caressing my corpse. The man grabbed him by the leg, dragging him off of my body. He then took some rope and tied lucass hands and feet together. Lucas began to laugh, and sing in tones that did not belong to him. He laughed and laughed as his hands were being tied. He was dragged across the trail he Shut the fuck up the man said over and over again dragging the man with rope in one hand and a lantern in the other placed his head on the same log he placed mine on. He let out a loud scream that sounded as if it came from many many people, but all at once. He than stomped the back of Lucas’s head into the Log. Immediately snapping his jaw the same way he did mine. ” Fuck that felt good!” the man shouted into Lucas ear, Lucas began to laugh again in the voice of a six year old boy that transitioned its tone into a grown woman’s chuckle, He then dragged Lucas’s semi conscious body through the trees, onto a small trail about thirty feet away. I slowly walked away from my body, over to where Lucas was dragged. I watched this man tie his end of the rope to the back of saddle that was mounted on a huge horse. He than grabbed a jug from his saddle bag and walked over to Lucas who was still managing to laugh the best he could with half his face pretty much hanging by broken skin, his esophagus was exposed and leaking. The tall man lifted the bottle to his mouth, took a big chug. than lifted his boot back up and stomped Lucas’s Jaw once more until it was completely de-hinged. The man got on his horse and rode through the dense fog, and through the trees. Sometimes on the trail, sometimes through rocks or through a creek, The glow from his lantern would glimmer through the forest. After a few minutes the man returned. He then cut the rope and dragged Lucas’s mangled body to the side of the trail. It looked like every bone was broken in Lucas body. His arms both had many compound fractures, his ankle was only attached by tendons and tissue. He then took a branch and beat him until his brains were outside his skull. All movement of Lucas’s body stopped, a dark mass crept out of his body and floated down the trail. The man than too two large branches and jammed them into Lucas’s eye sockets. He than cut into Lucas’s chest with the same shard of glass. He then dragged the body further up the trail. Once he found a spot, his lantern slowly transitioned into five very long fingers with flames at the very end. He took Lucas’s scrotum and melted the skin to what was left of his face. there were short branches perduring from where his eyes would be. His corpse was positioned in the center of the trail, seventy yards after my body and one hundred thirty yards after Autumn’s body.
I watched the man with the lantern walk from Lucas’s body, over to a log across the width of the trail, fifteen feet from where I was sitting. I stayed quiet, I wasn’t sure if he even knew I was here
" how you doin Taylor” I heard I watched the man wipe brain tissue from his boots
he was bout seven feet tall, a lanky old man with a long grey beard. He was holding a lantern in one hand and a jug in the other. He wore rugged boots and ripped jeans.
“who are you” I asked
“I think you know” he said as he placed his hat on his head
“I need you to say it”
“I am Yan”
“you are Yan ” I replied as I stared at his lantern. A couple long moments went by
“I will eventually explain everything young lady, for right now, Ill follow you, then you follow me” he added as he reached into his pocket with a large smile.
he grabbed a bag of tobacco and a pipe. He loaded the pipe full.
“want some the cutty” he said as he lit the pipe.
“I’m okay, for now” I responded, I turned and started down the trail, I was completely numb, I didn’t possess any emotion , I followed the trail until I began to recognize certain points. We wound up at spot were the trees grew tall and the fog was dense. I looked up to find two ropes hanging from the branches the ropes were cut near the knot.
“I cut them down, I buried them by the creek.” Yan said as he looked up at the ropes
" who were they” I asked
" his parents”
" His parents?.. I looked up at the ropes for a few minutes, completely lost in thought
" I found a backpack”
" I know” he stated
“there was a picture”
“those were Lucas’s parents, but those weren’t its parents” he replied
“what do you mean”
“that wasn’t Lucas, Taylor” he said taking a sip out of a jug
“take your time Taylor, I will explain everything eventually” he added
we continued walking until I found ourselves at the trail head on the east side of the lake. It was still very foggy and the snow was light, it was dark but I still wasn’t able to feel temperature.
we proceeded through the field towards my cabin as Yan followed close behind on his horse. Occasionally I would look back to find him taking swigs from his jug. His horse was very tall, all black, his eyes were all black as well. I continued to walk over the lake towards the cabins, everything looked the same for the most part, I was leaving footprints but they weren’t nearly as deep as before. I looked over at Yans prints, I was a couple light prints than a large space before a couple more. I have seen that foot print pattern before.
The cafeterias lights were all turned out. There were almost no light from any of the cabins, only the lamps that outline the walk way between cabins. A horn sounded randomly. The tone was different from the cafeteria the note was longer. When I looked back towards the cabin a little longer until I saw a figure to the right of us. We got fifteen feet away from him before stopping, It was tall, it wore a large, black robe with a large hood he wasn’t leaving any foot prints. I couldn’t see its face at all. It would slowly glide over the snow toward the tree line. we made our way to the back of the cabin, I walked over to my bedroom window and saw no one inside.
I think that was the first moment where everything set in. I wasn’t in the bed. I wasn’t in the fucking bed I wans’t in the fucking bed.
I dropped to the ground alongside the cabin and began crying.
“ill give you a minute madam” Yan said as he got off his horse
“you handled this better than anyone so far” he added as he walked his horse over to the tree line.
I waited until I couldn’t see Yan anymore.
I cried... I cried so hard, so intensely until I couldn’t anymore, I wanted to feel, I wanted to feel something, I wanted to fucking feel something, I dug my nails deep into my other arm and felt nothing, but I feel this, but I feel nothing.
" what the fuck, what the fuck, mom... mom..... mommy......... why mommy, im so scared, im so scared mommy.........please help me mommy..... im so fucking scared, im so sorry, im so sorry mommy”
I grabbed on to anything I could and squeezed as hard as I could until I could catch my breath, only to begin bawling again. I begged, for this to be a dream, I begged to wake up. For the first time in my life I preyed to god to help me. I begged god to help me. He wasn’t there, no one was there. I began repeating Jacobs name, Kendalls name, my dads name, Edds name.
a light turned on from inside of the cabin, i stood up and faced the window looking inside. Two campers were by the window looking out. I continued to sob as I watched them open them open the window from the inside. One camper turned on a flashlight and scanned the area in front of them.
" what was it” one said joining his friend at the window.
“I heard someone crying” the other responded.
I was right there, I was standing in front of the window, I was right here! how could they not see me! how could they not fucking see me, this isn’t happening, this isn’t fucking happening.
the rooms light turned off, the campers went back to their bunk
I sat under that window until I went numb, I was in auto pilot.
eventually I go up and walked over to the tree line.
“where is your horse” I asked as I approached Yan sitting on a log.
" I sent him home, id rather walk from here” he said as he lit his cutty.
“you get to follow me now” he said with a large grin
we continued back into the forest. I saw more figures walking along the trails, when we approached them they were in the same pope like black rope. They would float very slowly through the trails. Yan kept his lantern high and I tried to stay as quiet as I could.
every now and then I would see a very tall and large figure walk through the trees behind the dense fog. Sometimes closer than others and sometimes very slow. They would pass far in front of us into the trees as we followed the trail. They were sometimes almost as tall as the trees, sometimes id see people in very old clothes walking single file carrying candles. Their eyes were also black. I began to see creatures I never have before, I saw a large elk walk past us on the trail. The face was one of a human. Its face was beautiful. I saw animals heads on human bodies, and I saw human faces on animal bodies. It wasn’t long before I began to see the carcasses. Some were impaled in the trees, some were hung, some were scattered in many pieces while others were burned are half way buried in the dirt. Limbs would be sticking out of the ground or placed in trees. Some bodies were positioned to point certain directions. Most of the bodies had carvings of symbols are words I couldn’t make out. We walked for what I assumed to be fews miles before we reached a creek. I stopped to look into the water only to find my reflection was not visible. Only the glow from yans lantern behind me. The horn sounded once again, echoing through the trees.
eventually we wound up at a small shack like cabin. It looked a bit weathered. With planks of wood falling off the sides. There was a fire pit out front with a couple chairs and a large log and table next to it. There was a glow coming from inside the small shack. Yans horse was outside as well as a very tall, large black dog by the firepit.
I walked over to one of the chairs
“have a seat miss” He said walking into the shack
I sat in one of the chairs next to the fire pit, I grabbed a piece of wood next to the pit and threw it in.
The man came out with a copper cup and handed it to me.
“take a couple sips of that” he said taking a seat across from to me
“what is this” I asked
“that my lady is moonshine” he replied with a large smile
it was hard to look at him, his eyes were heavy, his voice was broken
we sat by the fire silent for quite some time
“you have questions Taylor, you have many questions”
“I’m dead” I stated
“you’re not alive” he replied
“you are yan,”
“Yes, and yes little one I am not loved in the eyes of many, I have killed, many, many times, before and after I left Northoak, and ill let you know Taylor, I absolutely love doing it, and your friend there, Lucas, yeah that boy, I’ve wanted to take him for the longest time, I’m sure you understand” he said as he began to roll up a cigarette.
" can you roll two Yan” I asked
he smiled as he brought out a second paper. Once he was done he handed it to me, I placed it in my mouth and leaned forward, he than lit the grit with his finger.
I took a drag and looked back over towards him.
“who is Yan Gant Y Tan” I asked taking another drag
he laughed to himself as a large black hound jumped up on the log next to him.
do you think the Lucas that you knew would drag his parent one by one down the block at 3 AM, gut his them, eat what was inside, and hang them from the trees”
“well no” I replied
" Lucas hung his own parents, Lucas has been battling something for a long time now, he was twelve when he first wondered into these woods, he was accompanied after that. The following years took a toll on him and his family. Last November, Lucas did unthinkable to many people than hung them from the trees. I don’t know what was in that boy, but there are more than you think”
there was a long moment of silence
the man Infront of you walked down the wrong trail, Taylor” he said as he took another swig ” I found him the same way something found Lucas. I had this man obsessed with these here woods, the more he visited the woods the easier it became. I made him loose his sanity, he then built this shack. I think he knew as time went on it was safer for the people of his town if I stayed out here. Eventually, I guided the man before you to take his life and I’ve been in these woods ever since”
“So what is yan?” I asked
“Yan, Yan Gant Y Tan. It is me sweetheart. I told them to call me Yan, The face, the body you see before you belongs to him. Who you hear, the eyes you are imbedded in right now, belong to me.” he took another mouthful of moonshine. ” what you cannot see or hear is the sould I have found. I think I heard you and that boy call it possess. This soul was pure before I got to it Taylor, if it wasn’t for this soul, I would have taken your life as well, and I want to be straight with you, I would have had a damn good time doin it. Who he was before me is why you are before me this evening.
so what is your or his real name” I asked taking another swig of moonshine
“you take me as a fool little one, or do you not know anything about us, if I tell you my name you will sperate me from him” he replied holding I stick over the fire
“you are the purest soul in miles, I would become you like I became him, like how it became Lucas.
at the end of the day darlin, I belong to hell,”
I took another swig of my mug at sat in a bit of silence
“what happened to what was inside of Lucas?” I asked
I don’t know... I have ended the lives of many, people that acted just like Lucas, at this point I’m sure it is the same thing inside all of them” Yan responded picking up his pipe.” It takes years for it to take a hold of you Taylor, once it does, your fate belongs to us. There are many of us Taylor, all with many different intentions. Some have values carried over from death, I do not kill children unless there soul is tainted, I do not seek the death of others unless I decide they deserve it, only the stained souls are the ones that I pick. Some souls that this forest stains, seek nothing but the deepest pain and sorrows on women, children and the elderly. They force intercourse at any cost, the screams. I’ve heard in this forest are ones that haunt the last bit of human I have left in this soul. I have been obsessed with causing pain to the ones I choose, but never a pain like that Ms. Taylor. What Lucas has done to your body is one that stained souls do on a regular basis, once these people enter my part of the forest, I have a damn good time ending the life of the carrier.”
a couple more moments past
“I have seen you” I replied
“you have, I saw you as you saw me, Taylor, you’re a smart girl” he said “you were marked, what ever had Lucas, wanted you. You have been marked for many years Taylor. Once he chose you, you began to see the glow from my lantern am I wrong?” he asked
“no your’e not” I replied
“you were able to hear the voices in the trees.. you were able to feel the atmosphere change, you began to feel pain that did not belong to you... the more obsessed he became with you the more vulnerable you became to us” he added as he took his hat off.
“you followed edd and I home, that was you right,?” I asked
" as he followed you, I followed him” he responded
“why did you kill Nicole, why did you kill those kids, the stories they tell around that fire, they tell stories about how Yan killed kids in the forest.”
“wasnt me” he said looking at his boots, “that wasn’t me”
“some thing else killed the kids?” I asked
“yes Maam” he replied taking a drag “its easy to place blame on a soul that is no longer there to silence the fib, remember, I don’t kill children unless there soul has been tainted. These children were innocent, its not my work Ms. Taylor” he said taking a swig of his jug. His fingers spread into five lit candles,
“I’m not here to harm you Ms. Taylor” he said lighting his pipe with his finger.
“than why did you have me die, you let him kill me, you used me” I stated as I locked eyes with him stronger than I have before. over time his fingers slowly made its way back to a lantern.
" like I said miss Taylor, I belong to hell, your soul was not mine to take, but his was mine to take, once you were marked, it was a matter of time before he got you, he started with that one girl, but I was to far away to get him before he reached you. I wasn’t trying to save you, pride is no longer within me, but he took his time with you, I had my opportunity, I took it. Did I want you to live? Yes, but you have to understand, that being spared doesn’t stop the reaper from taking you home.
some long moments past, I felt a moment of anger, I felt a moment of frustration.
another figure floated along the trail in front of Yans shack.
“you can accompany me as long as you please, one day you’ll find your way out of the forest, but there is a lot you need to know, there is a lot I need to show you, there is a lot you need to learn.”
I agreed to follow him until he let me go, I didn’t really feel like I had a choice.
we sat and talked for what seemed like hours, he told me story after story, about the people he’s brought to the roads, he also explained the many ways he has fun killing pedophiles and rapist. He told asked my if I noticed anything that sparked interest in the way he ended Lucas. After I shook my head he told me he inflicted the same pain as he did to me. he stomped his head in, he snapped his neck, he cut his jugular, I see it now. This was his space, and his space had no place for figures like the one that was with Lucas. It took me some time to understand that stress of the living did not matter anymore, I began to develop an understanding for where I was. a couple stories later and a few swigs of moonshine later, I looked over at the man on the log.
“do you mind if I go take care of somethings real quick, do you care to accompany me on my way” I asked looking up at Yan
“let’s go” he replied
we traveled for what I assumed were a few miles. The night felt longer than usual, the fog was heavy, I began to feel cold again. We made our way to the Den. We entered the road from the space between the houses. Yans light was very dim. We watched couple round the corner then cross the street in front of us. As they got closer I noticed that it was Jacob an Kendall I’m sure they were going to the Den. We walked past them, they did not look over once. I began to feel sad again as I called out there names”
“you’ll see them soon” Yan said as he passed by.
after a few blocks we approached his house.
“ill be right back” I said as I continued towards the door.
I made my way up the stairs and into edd’s bedroom. He was asleep in his bed with his phone beside him. I walked over and saw he was in the middle of a message before he fell asleep
it was to me, the message read: haven’t heard from you in a while, I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately, good night miss Ta”
I knelt down beside him and ran my fingers through his hair trying to hold back tears. I looked over at his desk to see the light from his computer. The document was labeled History of Yan Gant Y Tan for Taylor
I held down enter until the screen showed a new page.
I began to type, I did the best I could but it looked like this:

I m M s o
s o r r y i f o l lo WI e d T H e di m g lo w
i w il l s e e Y o u s o o N

I walked over to him, laying In bed wrapped up in his blanket. I knelt down and kissed his forehead.
“ill see you soon” I whispered as I stood up
as I walked out his room, as he began to wake up.
I made my way down the hallway, and into the living room. I looked over to find a woman that looked about 50 sitting in on the couch by the TV. She turned to look at me than lifted her hand to cover her mouth, she then looked back towards the television and began sinigang softly to herself. I walked past the couches and out the door, and into the street.
I found Yan at the end of the block holding his lantern.
without a word he turned around and began walking down the street, I followed not far behind. We reached a break between two houses that lead into the forest.
we walked along that path until we reached Yans shack.
I waited outside as he went inside to grab more tobacco. He than walked over to mount his horse, as his hound walked over than sat to the right of the horse.
" is he a”
“yes miss Taylor, he is a hell hound. He will be coming with us this evening.” Yan stated as he lit the cutty.
“he is almost as tall as I am” I responded
he smiled as he began down the trail. We took our time, im sure that was on purpose. I saw an owl with the face of a human fly onto a branch in front of us, it would stare at us as we walked by, than flew to a different branch ahead of us, it followed us. “that is Stolas” yan said as we continued down the trail.
it was dark, the moon was full but was barely visible through the trees.
as we walked along the trail I began to see the figures once again.
there was a tall woman in a robe with a hat that came to a point. She was looking up towards the moon reciting softly the same four sentences in a row. She had a thin long stick which she drew symbols in the dirt with.
“that’s Mycale, don’t make eye contact with her” yan said in a low voice
a short creature about 4 feet high appeared from a far, he stood quietly on the side of the trail and stared at us with a grin. He had a very long pointy nose, he had a short stubby face with sharp teeth. His had was flat with a short brim and a long feather in the back. He wore stockings with shinny black shoes. He looked as if he was from the renaissance period but also wasn’t human.
his name was Picollus
A very skinny creature appeared next, his name is Xaphan. He has two horns and long pointy ears, his face is round with wide eyes. A naked creature with long pointy fingers and toes. He carried a hearth. He was once an angel but had a deep desire to set fires to the heavens. He was cast out for his rebellious ways. He is responsible for all furnaces of hell. His sole job is to keep the fires going.
we continued until we saw volac, a beautiful child with wings of an angel. His eyes were black and his body was pale white. He drifted by us than through the trees behind us. He is one of many presidents here.
I began to hear the sound of many women singing the same pitch, it grew louder and the tone got higher the more we traveled. We approached a point where many women, naked, were holding hands around human body that was engulfed in flames. The skin was slowly melting off the nose, the eyes were missing. The women were smiling, holding hands in a circle slowly walking counter clockwise around the center.
as we continued I saw what appeared to be a dear with a humans torso. From the ribs down there was large, strong elk like legs, the chest and arms belonged to a large human male. The head was of a large elk or deer with very long pointed antlers, at least 26 points. There were wings that helped the creature fly.
“do not speak to it Taylor, that it a FurFur”
the hound walked with me as we stepped over mangled bodies that laid across the trail.
a few minutes later we were approached by a tall figure, he also looked as if he were from the renaissance era. He had a very large, long nose that came to a point, he had the head of a goat. He had two very long pointy ears, along with three long sharp horns that sat randomly on his head. He also wore stockings with shiny shoes. His staff was made of bones.
“Leonard” yan said aloud
“Sir Yan Gant Y Tan, im not used to seeing you like this” Leonard responded
Yan turned around to look at me and smiled wide, then turned back facing forward
" will you be joining us Leonard” Yan asked
" I figured you might need a mole like myself sir, I have been through many times sir” Leonard responded, as Yan handed him three gold coins.
we saw many more creatures along that path, we found ourselves infront of seven very large boulders, about ten feet tall. On the north side of the rocks there was an opening about four feet wide.
Yan got off his horse and tied its rope to a nearby tree.
the hound walked up to the opening and climbed down the hole until we couldn’t see him anymore. Leonard looked over at me and smiled as he climbed into the opening.
“come with me Miss Taylor” Yan said as he climbed down the hole.
I looked up into the night sky as I stood infront of the group of large boulders. I took a deep breath, walked over to the opening and climbed into the hole. I looked around to see Yans dim glow walking down the path. When I caught up to Yan, Leonard walked in front of us, Yan and I walk side by side following, behind us was the hound. the walls started off as dirt and gravel than transitioned into cobble stone, I looked over at yan for the first time in a while, his lantern was now five very long fingers with flames at the end. The glow from his fingers illuminated a large, tall, torso covered in black fur, he had long sharp teeth and long pointy ears, he was naked and covered in black fur, his eyes were wide, his head and body were huge. He was at least eight feet tall at this point, I noticed he could control how big he was depending on the opening we had to pass through. His eyes were black and full of character. We passed through an opening that lead down into a large open hall with a chair in the center of the pitch black room. A figure moved across the pathway, it was another large black robe, no face, levitating. The only light we had was provided by Yans light. I heard screaming every couple minutes that only grew louder the more we descended, I heard screaming from men and women, screams from children and grand parents, blood curdling screams, from the tops of each and every lung. Followed by complete silence. The kind of silence that is uncomfortable, the kind of silence that is mutes the slightest of footsteps.
we kept descending until we found ourselves in front of another small opening. One stone was placed above the opening that read:
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” Leonard says with a smile
“where are we going” I asked looking up at Yan
“I want you to meet him” he responded
we climbed through the opening one by one.
the screams grew louder and louder, the creatures were larger.
there were lakes full of corpse, the water was red, the candles were scattered along the walls illuminating the moving bodies. Women, children, men rolling in there own filth, screaming, bawling, laughing as loud as they possibly could. Thousands upon thousand of faces, upon bodies, bloody naked bodies, sometimes missing limbs, sometimes cut open, screaming for my help as we walked past them. Arms would reach out from the mangle corpses, grabbing onto legs, faces begging and pleading for help and forgiveness. Creatures would beat, torment, and brutally torture the people here, the screams would screech along the walls. We continued for what seemed like many miles until we reached another tunnel. A horn with a deep tone began to sound again, echoing though the halls.

I am in auto pilot, I am numb.

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Further Recommendations

ecsanders2213: It was a great book so far until I had to stop n fill this out I just want to continue reading

Biljana Malesevic: Writing style and story remind me of early Stephen King. It's dark and scary and the characters are good, well written though I would like to know something more about them. They are interesting and I would like to know them better. Atmosphere is good, feels like you are really there.Overall I li...

Nilofar: Loved the plot.... very well written! Just couldnt keep it down until I reached the end of the story... excellent!!

Martha Stuart: SO DID NOT SEE THAT END COMING I NEED MORE LIKE ASAP YYYYYYY IS THIS A SHORT STORY 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

wardstacey69: Aww, really start enjoying the story

amibrennan98: Enjoyed the story, very talented writer

cassie: Very good book wish or a good hook in the story. Some Grammer and spelling errors, but hey, we are all human.

Carrie Mortimer: I really did enjoy this short but sweet

패티: Estuvo fuerte el asunto..🥵Por favor que Baek me pase el PDF del libro para invocar incubos..🤭

More Recommendations

Carito: I loved this series so far! Cried with Nicole’s story in the second book and couldn’t leave it, I binged read this one!

akosuapatri: I just love how you were able to make the story short and yet interesting. I was expecting more😒😭😭.

aduerr46: I love this story so much!

Catlynx_Rose: Love this story very much.

Bkprice: It’s not her fault the man wouldn’t take no for an answer

Leah Clark: I like the story a lot, I just wish to learn why she kept running.

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